California: Morgan Fire Near Mt. Diablo Now 45 Contained (+Photos)

    A September 9, 2013 image shows the Morgan Fire in Contra Costa County in California. The fire has slowed and firefighters have contained 45 percent of it as of Tuesday morning. (Twitter/ABC7 News)

    Firefighters gained serious ground on a fire near Mt. Diablo in Contra Costa County California, getting it 45 percent contained as of Tuesday morning.

    The fire went down to 3,243 acres as of 7 a.m. PDT Tuesday and is 45 percent contained, according to Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency. 

    The fire slowed to a stop on Monday night and the decrease in acreage was because of better mapping.

    After starting on Sunday the fire steadily grew up to Monday afternoon.

    25 of the 100 homes that were threatened by the fire are no longer being threatened, Cal Fire spokesman Todd Williams told the Contra Costa Times.

    The homes are in the Curry Creek and Oak Hill area, about five miles southeast of downtown Clayton. Evacuations were ordered for: Oak Hill Lane, Curry Canyon, Curry Lane, Curry Point, Trail Ride Road, East Trail Road, Russelman Park Road, Upper Trail Road and Lower Trail Road. 

    Crews worked on Monday to create an eight mile containment zone.

    Cal Fire first reported battling the fire at 2:47 p.m. PDT after receiving calls as early as 1:15 p.m. It was reported then as 15 acres off Morgan Territory Road by Cal Fire, and off of Marsh Creek Road by the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, which has crews assisting in battling the fire. The Alameda County Fire Department is also assisting.

    100 fire engines, 38 fire crews, 4 air tankers, 11 helicopters, 25 bulldozers, 6 water tenders, and 705 firefighters and other personnel are battling the fire.

    Smoke from the fire can be seen from San Francisco, which is about about 15 miles southwest. People in the city posted pictures on Twitter and Instagram.

    The evacuation center for those evacuated was at Diablo View Middle School but has been changed to Clayton Community Library at 6125 Clayton Road, according to the county sheriff’s office.

    Clayton Mayor Julie Pierce told the Contra Costa Times that people are having flashbacks to the fire of 1977, which charred 6,000 acres on the north side of Mt. Diablo.

    “We’re hoping it’s not as bad as that,” she said.

    Karen Cooper safely evacuated 20 dogs from the kennel she works at on Morgan Territory Road, but she was missing two of her horses, Butter and Pineapple.

    “It’s been intense,” she said.

    Stacie Thomason, 42, was at the library/evacuation center but wondered whether she should go back to her house at the base of Mt. Diablo for more. ”I have a lot of family stuff, possessions, so I’m nervous,” she said. “That’s why I’m thinking about going back.”

    The cause of the fire isn’t known yet. Mount Diablo State Park is closed until further notice.

    Story developing; check back for updates.

    Have anything to add to this story? Tweet at me: @ZackStieber

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    Morgan Fire Monday into Tuesday:

    Morgan Fire Sunday Night into Monday Morning:



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