Neighbors living within an ember's range of Lafayette Community Park have been calling police and fire officials after a series of late-night campfire parties in the 58-acre park -- apparently built by local teens.
One neighbor writes: "This week there was a serious fire at a different campsite in the Lafayette Community Park. It was reported by a resident who smelled smoke at about 4:30 am. The fire department reported it originated in a well known and developed illegal campsite/party spot with table, seating, and curtains dividing the area into rooms. The fire engulfed part of a tree and other vegetation and took the firemen 2 ½ hours to extinguish completely. It was a difficult area to reach, firemen had to carry hoses a long distance down small winding trails, as there is no fire truck access. The 40’ x 40’ area is now charred and decimated: all vegetation is gone and the area is filled with remnants of the firepit, burnt trees, cinders, beer cans, plastic bottles and is very dangerous due to broken glass from liquor bottles strewn about."
City Manager Steve Falk confirmed that there have been at least three fires in the "back forty" area of the park, with one campfire built under an overarching oak tree.
Lafayette police and Contra Costa Fire District firefighters have been called out, and trash and even some of the mentioned furniture has been hauled away. No one from either department was available to speak about the problem Friday.
Neighbors tell Lamorinda Patch that the site is still actively used, with new evidence of freshly built fires greeting them every morning. Falk urged the neighbors to call 911 immediately if they smell a fire in the area.
And if you party in the area and build a fire, Falk says you'll be cited.