More Than 100 Homes Evacuated In Oakland Hills Grass Fire

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A large fire that forced the evacuation of more than 100 homes in the tinder-dry Oakland Hills Tuesday has been 60 percent contained, authorities said.

Cal Fire said around 6 p.m. that the blaze’s forward progress was stopped.

Homes are no longer threatened since there were no longer active flames on the hillside.

“Oakland Fire jumped on it really quick,” Cal Fire spokeswoman Pam Temmermand said.

The fire was reported around 12:15 p.m. at the site of a former quarry near Interstate 580 and Keller Ave. At least 22 acres have burned. The flames spread quickly but firefighters were able to mostly knock it down after about two hours.

oakland hills fire house 2 More Than 100 Homes Evacuated In Oakland Hills Grass Fire

Large Oakland Hills home threatened by fire (CBS)

A massive response was launched by the Oakland Fire Department and units from neighboring cities provided assistance. Cal Fire sent four air tankers and four helicopters to the scene.

The fire and police departments worked together to evacuate residences in the area on the north side of I-580 and Edwards Avenue.

The following streets were evacuated: Bayview, Skyview, and homes along Campus drive in the 13650 block. Additional streets include Bohansen Road, Ridgemont, and Viewcrest.

Oakland Fire Capt. Melinda Drayton said more than 100 homes had been evacuated as of 1:45 p.m.

Merritt College at 12500 Campus Drive was also evacuated and classes canceled for the day.

A couple of helicopters were continuing to drop water where needed and crews were “working on the left flank of the fire,” Temmermand said. She said crews would likely be at the scene for several hours.

No injuries were reported in the blaze and no structures were damaged.

The National Weather Service had issued a red flag warning for the East Bay hills, predicting similar conditions to those on the day of the devastating and deadly October 1991 wildfire. Winds were coming from the east, called Diablo Winds — with gusts of up to 25 mph, high temperatures and very low humidity.

Residents in the old Leona Quarry area were taking their pets and belongings with them Tuesday, as they prepared for a long fire fight.

The former Leona Quarry was used during the construction of Interstate 580, and its products were used all over the East Bay for the piers and berths of the Port of Oakland, for BART and the Oakland Coliseum.

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