Crews Make Steady Progress on Mt. Diablo Fire

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    Perry Lentine

    Firefighters hope to have a wildfire near Mount Diablo State Park fully contained by the end of the day.

    Hundreds of firefighters battled the 375-acre wildfire near Mount Diablo State Park in a rural, unincorporated area of Contra Costa County Tuesday. The fire was 80 percent contained by 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, fire officials said.

    Units responded to the grassfire along Morgan Territory Road in an area northeast of Mount Diablo at 4 p.m. By midnight, the fire was about 50 percent contained, Cal Fire said.

    Flames were continuing to spread in grass and oak woodland at a moderate rate, and low winds are helping to keep the fire from spreading rapidly, according to Cal Fire. 

    Fire crews had to deal with more than flames on the fire lines.  There is lots of poison oak inside the fire zone and tarantulas were also being swatted away as they jump into the firefighters field of view.

    Calfire fought the fire with at least 23 fire engines and  three bulldozers. Units deployed overhead - including one air attack, six air  tankers and 3 helicopters - have been released overnight due to darkness, but  are expected to return at dawn, Cal Fire said.

    About 200 firefighters from Cal Fire, Contra Costa County Fire  Protection District and San Ramon fire were responding. One firefighter was  injured, spraining an ankle while battling the blaze.

    A number of other agencies are assisting in the operations, including the California Highway Patrol and the Contra Costa Sheriff's  Office, with a total of 250 personnel on the scene.

    One home was considered threatened by flames on Curry  Canyon Road, according to Cal Fire, but no structures had burned as of midnight. No evacuation orders had been issued at that time.

    Thick gray smoke was visible throughout the San Ramon Valley and  eastern Alameda County. Temperatures grazing 100 degrees and single-digit daytime humidity  levels worked against firefighting efforts, according to Cal Fire.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.