Local News Matters weekly newsletter

Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.

A holiday tree-lighting ceremony may still be on for this weekend in Oakland’s Jack London Square despite a fire early Monday that scorched about 10 percent of the tree, a fire department spokesman said.

Quick work by firefighters about 1:20 a.m. kept the fire from burning more of the tree, at Embarcadero and Water Street.

“The tree is structurally sound,” fire department spokesman Michael Hunt said.

But he said it is “very disheartening” that it happened at all.

An aerosol cannister was found at the scene, leading investigators to believe the fire was intentionally set.

Fortunately for the tree, the nearest fire station is only a block away. Crews were on the scene in about 90 seconds and the blaze was out in about five minutes, Hunt said.

But the fire ran the entire trunk of the tree, which is 52 feet tall.

Officials planned to further assess the tree’s lights and power source for the lights, which appears to be damaged, Hunt said.

The free lighting ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Anyone with information about the person or persons responsible for the fire is asked to call the Oakland Fire Department arson investigator at 510-238-4031.