Combined forces battle Franklin Canyon fire

The combined forces of a half a dozen fire departments fought a blaze in the 2400 block of Franklin Canyon Road south of California Highway 4 Wednesday night, according to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

The fire was reported about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in a storage lot that contained vehicles and boats, spokesperson Steve Hill told reporters. An arriving battalion chief called a second alarm.

But concern for the property, which contained propane tanks, led to a third alarm call and the arrival of 54 firefighters, 10 support personnel and 18 engines from ConFire, the California Department of Forestry, Military Ocean Terminal Concord and the fire departments of Crockett-Carquinez, Rodeo-Hercules and Pinole, Hill said.

Flames reached two propane tanks, which exploded, but Hill said firefighters kept the blaze within the property’s borders. It was brought under control within an hour.

He said four recreational vehicles, two trucks, some boats and a container which contents he didn’t identify were damaged or destroyed. No estimate of the damage was released, and no injuries were reported. Firefighters were looking into a cause for the blaze.

Hill said the mutual aid response, “an important thing this time of year with wildland season arriving earlier and earlier these days,” prevented the fire’s damage from being worse.

At Wednesday’s Martinez City Council meeting, resident Marta Van Loan said Martinez Citizen Emergency Response Team members are the “eyes of the fire department,” and that residents must cut weeds to no higher than 3 inches before the end of the month.

“Don’t just ‘weed-whack’ your yard,” she said. Property owners also need to remove brush that can allow a fire to expand rapidly.

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