SAUSALITO (CBS SF) — Tinder-dry brush, July 4th fireworks and gusty winds across the San Francisco Bay Area were fueling rising anxieties among local officials over the chances for a wildfire Sunday.
On Saturday, three wildfires erupted in the region and were quickly halted due to the quick responses by local firefighters. Gusty winds buffeted the area at the time, fanning the flames and accelerating the spread.
In Marin County, traffic was halted on the busy Highway 101 corridor Saturday evening for more than an hour as firefighters battled a blaze near Marin City that was advancing toward the freeway.
“Winds are blowing embers across the lanes and visibility has been reduced to almost nothing due to smoke,” the CHP said in a Facebook post at the time the freeway was shut down.
#BREAKING: Marin County Fire crews extinguish a small fire along southbound 101 freeway in Marin City, Calif., on Saturday, Jun. 27, 2020. The cause of the fire is under investigation.(Photo/Ethan Swope) @marincountyfire pic.twitter.com/0jyWn8zVvu
— Ethan Swope (@EthanSwopePhoto) June 28, 2020
In Fairfield, firefighters battled a two-alarm vegetation fire close to a subdivision near Gold Hill Road west of Interstate Highway 680 in the Cordelia area.
No structures were threatened and firefighters were monitoring for hot spots early Sunday.
Firefighters also battled two vegetation fires that ignited along Interstate 680 at Parish Road north of Benicia.
— kidhack (@kidhack) June 27, 2020
Flames broke out around 2 p.m. in the grassy slopes above I-680 near Parish Road, sending smoke toward Suisun Bay to the east. The first blaze quickly grew to six acres and sparked another fire across the freeway which was around five acres in size as of 3:30 p.m.
Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit were forced to ground firefighting aircraft due to drone interference. The fire was contained to 12 acres with crews remaining on the scene early Sunday.
While winds dropped off Sunday morning, the National Weather Service they will begin picking up again later Sunday, elevating the chances of a wildfire. Forecasters issued a Red Flag Warning from 10 p.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday for the higher elevations in Marin, Napa and Sonona counties.
“Local gusts at isolated peaks and ridgetops may approach 50 mph,” the weather service warned. “These winds will primarily be a threat between sunset Sunday to early Monday morning…Inland higher terrain of Sonoma and Napa counties above 1000 ft (will see greatest threat of a fire)…Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.”