By DAVID SCHOLZ
MARTINEZ, Calif. – A brush fire scorched five acres near downtown Martinez late Wednesday afternoon before local fire personnel got the upper hand.
Despite having the fire contained by 5 p.m., three engines were on the scene all night long to knock down flare-ups at the scene near Rankin Park.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Capt. George Lang of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District.
While winds did not contribute to the fire, Lang said “winds changed the dynamics of the fire behavior.”
Several homes were initially threatened before the fire quickly moved away from them.
Bucket drops provided by the Contra Costa Sheriff’s STARR3 helicopter supported the firefighting effort on the ground.
Initial reports from resident social media postings suggested a fire had started near the park. Smoke was visible along Alhambra Avenue in downtown Martinez.
Another resident posted there was falling ash at her Buckley Street home, which also was beginning to smell of smoke from the fire.