Investigators Say Merrill Fire’s Cause Accidental in Nature

Fire moraga

Arson investigators say the cause of a wildfire that threatened 140 structures in Moraga early Thursday morning appears to have been accidental in nature.

The fire was reported just before 1 a.m. in the vicinity of Merrill Circle and Sanders Ranch Road, prompting evacuations. By 7 a.m., however, the fire was 80 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.

Fire officials have not yet released the exact cause of the fire, and the investigation remains underway, but police are asking anyone with information about suspicious activity in the area to call Detective Kevin Mooney at (925) 888-7056 or

Police thanked Sanders Ranch residents for helping to spread the word about the fire and evacuating the area in a calm, safe manner.

They expect to discuss the matter further at the police department's town hall meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, listed at 1010 Camino Pablo, Moraga.

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