WALNUT CREEK (KPIX) — Fire season already seems to be in full swing but some areas of the Bay Area are better prepared than others to battle the flames.
In Walnut Creek, a fire broke out at a senior care home around 4 o’clock Thursday afternoon. Luckily, Contra Costa Fire was able to respond quickly with a lot of resources but that’s not the case in the rural areas of the county.READ MORE: VIDEO: Smash-And-Grab Robbery At Tanforan Mall Jewelry Store
Neighbors of the senior facility said they heard two large explosions and two smaller ones.
“As the explosions was going on, you saw everything just blowing up,” said Bernadette Burns.
While firefighters tackled that blaze at the 1500 block of Castle Hill Road, windblown embers sparked three other fires — two in the backyards directly behind the facility and another across I-680. Con Fire had roughly 100 firefighters on scene to put each fire out.
“I’m confident we have the resources in place in ConFire to handle any wildfire situations that we might encounter,” said ConFire spokesman Steve Hill.
It’s a different scenario for the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. Every available crewmember was sent to fight an early-morning blaze near the Antioch Marina Thursday.
When another fire then broke out on Bethel Island, crews from Pacheco and Walnut Creek were called in.READ MORE: CA Drought: Big Sur 'Colorado' Fire Could Be Start Of Year-Round Wildfire Season
East Contra Costa Fire Protection District covers 249 square miles with only three fire stations.
“We know we should have six (stations) today — that’s always been the struggle,” said fire marshal Steve Aubert.
Aubert added that the district has looked into getting additional funding to add more resources.
East Contra Costa Fire is also looking at the feasibility of merging with Contra Costa Fire.
Aubert says something has to be done to meet the increased demand for services.
“It’s always been a matter of how do we fix it and how do we get to what we should have today so we have adequate resources to handle multiple events at the same time,” Aibert said.MORE NEWS: COVID: 911 Calls For Ambulances Has CoCo County Fire Crews, Emergency Resources Stretched Thin
As for the cause of the fire at the senior home facility, ConFire says the blaze was started by smoking materials found near the origin.