Investigators: Suspicious Brush Fire Similar to Others

The small brush fire was similar to five suspicious fires in Oakland's Dimond Canyon that reached four alarms.


June 19--OAKLAND -- A small brush fire in an East Oakland creek bed Wednesday night had similarities to a series of blazes Tuesday afternoon in Dimond Canyon several miles away, officials said.

All of the fires have been deemed suspicious and authorities have not ruled out the possibility of someone walking in the areas using matches or a lighter to start the fires.

Authorities said they have not found combustibles in any of the fires.

Wednesday's fire erupted about 11:10 p.m. in a creek bed in the 4300 block of Gordon Street near Courtland Avenue in the Maxwell Park area.

Battalion Fire Chief Lisa Baker said the blaze started in some brush, but spread to a eucalyptus tree.

A "wildland response" brought 18 firefighters to the scene and the flames were extinguished within 15 minutes, Baker said.

No homes were threatened and no injuries were reported.

Baker said the fire was suspicious because it started in the creek bed of Courtland Creek without a cause, just like recent fires in Dimond Canyon four miles away, below Park Boulevard not far from the Montclair district.

She said she could not recall a fire in the area where Wednesday's started for at least six years. She also could not recall when there were any fires in Dimond Canyon before this week's blazes.

On Tuesday, the two brush fires in the deep canyon below Park Boulevard went to four alarms before being contained just before 3 p.m. Three other small fires were put out quickly before they could spread significantly.

The canyon is surrounded by million-dollar homes, but none of them burned and nobody was injured.

Authorities are asking anyone who saw anything or anyone suspicious in the areas of the fires to contact arson investigators at 510-238-4031.

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