PITTSBURG, Calif. (KRON) – A plan to drench smoldering marshland near Pittsburg with millions of gallons of water is underway. The plan is being executed nearly two months after the Marsh Fire started.

By running hoses from water pumps along the watershed to the burn zone, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Captain Steve Aubert says his team hopes to saturate the industrial marshland near Pittsburg with water. What caught fire on May 28 and has continued to burn along the Pittsburg Bay Point Waterfront is called “peat dirt,” which can burn 10 feet underground.

“You got to be able to flood that property to fully extinguish it, or this fire could technically burn all the way into the rainy season, during the winter time,” Aubert said.

It’s also not safe enough for firefighters to drive or stand on, which is why most initial water attacks were done from the air. Last Thursday, once Con-Fire secured all of the proper permits it needed from state, local and federal agencies, Captain Aubert says the pumps were set up and have been producing about 2,000 gallons of water per minute. He added that it could take up to 20 million gallons of water to fully extinguish the fire.

“Try to avoid the area as much as possible, and if you live in the area, keep your windows shut to prevent the smoke from coming directly into your home,” Aubert advised. 

Those who live or work close by are frustrated over months of constantly smelling smoke.

“Twenty hours out of the day, it’s breathable, but the four hours out of the day you can’t even go outside,” said construction worker Chuck Quick.

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