Hanging in the air were some smoky, scary moments for a half-dozen homeowners near Arbolado Park this afternoon.
A two-alarm fire burned three acres in the orchard behind the park's tennis courts, its flames scorching land right up to the fence line of five homes that back up to the city property.
The fire was reported just before 3 p.m., said Fire Marshal Lewis Broschard of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. It was extinguished before 4 p.m.
One homeowner who didn't want to give her name told Patch she was in her living room when she heard the flames, then saw the smoke. She quickly called 9-1-1.
The woman then turned on her sprinklers and used a hose to wet down the ground near her fence.
"It was very scary. (The fire) was moving very quickly," she said.
The fire blackened her chain-link fence and burned some of the baseboard the fence sits on.
Batallion Chief Terry Buck said fire crews put down a hose line along the back fences of the homes that sit in the neighborhoods off Valley Vista Road.
They then circled the orchard and surrounded the blaze. A California Department of Forestry crew helped battle the flames.
Buck said fire crews were able to respond quickly because the department has enough firefighters and open stations right now. He said if personnel is cut later this year and stations closed, they might not be able to respond as quickly.
The homeowner and Buck also noted the tall, dry bushes that sit on the city parkland near the homes.
"It's worrisome when you look at (the bushes). They're not in the best condition and they seem rather dry," he said.
Buck added the region had a dry winter and warm temperatures are expected this summer.
"We're preparing for a very bad fire season," he said.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.