Home NEWS Local Scene Car Fire Spreads To Orinda Hillside Monday; Briefly Closes Highway 24

Car Fire Spreads To Orinda Hillside Monday; Briefly Closes Highway 24

Photo: Stacey Frost

A roadside emergency turned into a smoky vegetation fire Monday after a car fire spread to the steep, brushy hillside along westbound Highway 24 in Orinda.

Photo: Shelly Swanegan Hamalian

A second alarm was called shortly after the fire broke out at 12:58 p.m., the blaze scorching 25-plus acres and “running” on the steep hillside. Smoke could be seen for miles, prompting the closure of the freeway in both directions at approximately 1:25 p.m.

Resources from the East Bay Regional Parks district, CalFire and the Moraga-Orinda Fire District were rushed to the scene with calls issued for aerial support in fighting the blaze.

No structures were reported threatened as this was written (1:40 p.m.). Three westbound lanes of Highway 24 remained closed Monday afternoon as firefighters mopped up and moved apparatus along the freeway, but traffic was largely restored – if slow – by the evening commute.


  1. I passed by it a few minutes before fire crews were dispatched. At that point the car was fully engulfed in flames and the fire had run up the hill side about 100ft. Looked as if it happened quick there was a flat bed tow / driver who had just pulled up and jumped out but he couldn’t do anything at that point.

    I was just thinking the grass along the 24/hillsides was going to be a problem this summer.

    • @TW – Thanks for the “eyes on!” Yes, we believe that tow truck driver tried to put out the blaze but it was beyond his capability to do so. It was a cooker. Very fast.

  2. The front foot or so of the car was still intact it looked like a older Nissan 300 2dr sports car. The rest was just a ball of flames.

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