Infrared drone view of Bay Point gas vault fire

Source: Pittsburg Police Department

"We Drill For This": Chevron Trying To Quell Gas Line Fire

Thousands Remain Evacuated in Bay Point, Pittsburg

KCBS Radio Morning News
October 18, 2018 - 8:56 am

BAY POINT (KCBS Radio) -- Efforts continued Thursday morning to extinguish a fire that broke out Wednesday night in an underground Chevron natural gas line vault. An estimated 4,000 people in the area remained under an evacuation order.

The situation developed Wednesday night after a grass fire in the area near Bailey Road. Contra Costa County firefighters put out the flames, but were called back an hour later after reports of a fire in the gas vault.

Dramatic infrared footage captured by a Pittbsurg Police Department drone showed the heat signature of the fire. 

Chevron project coordinator Cary Wages told reporters at a Thursday morning briefing that the fire affects a small natural gas line that leads to a 12-inch high-pressure main. Wages said crews were following a plan. "We drill for this," he said.

Chevron crews were performing what's known as a "blowdown" procedure, injecting nitrogen into the natural gas line to force out the natural gas and extinguish the fire.

Until the situation can be stabilized, the evacuation order will remain in effect. The evacuation zone remains unchanged from the one shown in a map released Wednesday night by the Contra Costa County Community Warning System.