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Local

Cost Of Fighting Morgan Fire On Mt. Diablo Up To $4.5 Million

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Mt. Diablo seen from Rossmoor, Walnut Creek (Courtesy of C. Hand/KPIX 5)

Mt. Diablo seen from Rossmoor, Walnut Creek (Courtesy of C. Hand/KPIX 5)

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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) — A fire that has burned thousands of acres in and around Mount Diablo State Park over the past five days has cost an estimated $4.5 million in resources, Cal Fire officials said Friday.

Dubbed the “Morgan Fire,” the blaze was at 95 percent containment by this morning, with about 450 personnel remaining to check for any smoldering areas and to patrol the perimeter of the blaze, according to a statement from Cal Fire.

On Friday afternoon, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. Robert Marshall said, “There is no real active fire and probably not a lot of smoldering.”

Fire officials said full containment of the fire was expected by Friday evening.

Fire investigators have determined that target shooting in the area on Sunday caused the Morgan Fire, but Cal Fire officials declined to provide further details due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The blaze was initially reported around 1 p.m. Sunday off of Morgan Territory Road near the park and southeast of Clayton.

Winds and dry vegetation helped fuel the fire, which prompted the evacuation of some 75 homes and burned 3,133 acres, according to Cal Fire.

The residents were allowed to return to their homes by Tuesday, according to fire officials.

More than 1,370 firefighters responded to the fire from several different agencies.

In addition to monitoring for hot spots, remaining fire personnel on Thursday and Friday have worked on cleaning up roadways and planting seeds to prevent soil erosion and future floods, according to Cal Fire.

Mount Diablo State Park is on track to reopen on Monday, and crews are working to fix park trails and structures damaged in the blaze, according to park officials.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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