Full containment for Marsh Fire could be reached by Friday

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CalFire is making progress on the Marsh Fire burning in Contra Costa County outside Clayton.

On Thursday, electricity was restored to all homes except for those on Aspara Drive, according to CalFire Battalion Chief Mike Marcucci. As of Thursday afternoon, the fire was 75% contained and had burned 247 acres. It is possible crews could have full containment by Friday night. Crews were working on the ground and an air attack was not needed, compared to Wednesday when there was an air attack immediately after the fire broke out.

Of the roughly 100 structures threatened, two dozen are residential homes. The majority are outhouses and barns or sheds. Marcucci said evacuation orders remain in place and there is no estimated time when those evacuation orders will be lifted.

“Now we’re working into the interior and what’s happening is some of the burned material will roll out and ignite some of the unburned material around the homes,” Marcucci said. “That’s our fear and that’s our concern and that’s what we’re working on today.”

Kit and David Sondergeld live on Aspara Drive. They went to survey the damage on Thursday and said their water and electricity lines were damaged, but they plan on making repairs and moving back in. Their house and SUV is covered in pink retardant, but they couldn’t be more grateful to firefighters who saved their property. 

“If it wasn’t for them the house would not be here so huge thanks and appreciation to them,” David Sondergeld said.

The couple is extremely thankful that everyone made it out of the fire OK, including their cat “Jotue.”

“We walked in the backyard and gave a call and he came out of nowhere, jumped up into my arms and was very sheepish around all the other people and was very happy to see us,” Sondergeld said.

Marcucci said investigators believe the fire originated near the Marsh Creek Detention Facility on Marsh Creek Road. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Evacuation centers have been set up at the Clayton Library at 6125 Clayton Road and at the Brentwood Community Center at 35 Oak Street. 

About 180 fire personnel in all have responded to the blaze, according to Cal Fire.