The U.S. Coast Guard evacuated four people from Kimball Island when a brush fire raged there and sent a heavy plume of black smoke over the San Joaquin River and Antioch waterfront.

A 29-foot Coast Guard boat from Rio Vista was used to rescue the four people from island. They were then transferred to an auxiliary boat.

No one was injured.

Several other people left the island on their own before help arrived.

The fire started in the brush on the south part of island around 3 p.m., and moved westward toward an inhabited building.

"It started as a 10-foot brush fire. With the wind increasing five knots, it kept spreading the fire," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Josh Lemas.

Crowds of people gather along the railroad tracks in Antioch, Calif., to watch a vegetation fire on Kimball Island on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.  (Victoria
Crowds of people gather along the railroad tracks in Antioch, Calif., to watch a vegetation fire on Kimball Island on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. (Victoria Sheridan/For Bay Area News Group)

The 109-acre island is located in Sacramento County, and in addition to the Coast Guard, CalFire responded with a helicopter, which dropped water on the fire. Rio Vista Fire responded on land.

"We don't receive many calls regarding fires on land, but we prepare for any circumstance," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Lawler. "We worked together as a unit to help and assist the people on the island to complete another successful mission."

Watching from the San Joaquin River's southern shore, Steve Frazier of Oakley went to find the source of the back smoke.

"You can see the helicopters are using water from the Delta to try and put the fire out," he said.


Advertisement

Staff writer Kristin J. Bender contributed to this report. Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164 or pburgarino@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.