October 18, 2018 / 3:48 PM / a month ago

Fire forces evacuations near Chevron gas line in California

(Reuters) - A fire near a Chevron Corp natural gas pipeline in Pittsburg, California, has been put out after prompting the shutdown of the line and the evacuation of about 4,000 people, fire officials said on Thursday.

“At around 8 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Chevron Pipe Line Company (CPL) was notified of a fire caused by an electrical power line falling which started a fire near our valve junction on the Northern California Gas Line,” Chevron said in a statement.

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District announced at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday that the evacuation order due to the incident had been lifted.

“Residents are free to return to their homes as they wish. All danger has passed,” it said on Twitter.

About 4,000 people from 1,400 houses were evacuated within a half-mile range of the fire, Steve Hill, a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, said.

He added that while the fire was relatively small, the real problem was that it was burning inside a vault, very close to the 12-inch natural gas pipeline.

Ryan Bain, another spokesman for the fire protection district, later said the fire had been extinguished.

Reporting by Sumita Layek, Eileen Soreng, Vijaykumar Vedala, K. Sathya Narayanan and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; editing by Leslie Adler and Tom Brown

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