LIVERMORE (CBS SF) — Firefighters brought a wildfire under control early Friday after a big rig crash ignited a blaze that spread along I-580 near Livermore, forcing the busy freeway to be shut down for several hours.
The blaze was triggered shortly after midnight by a big rig crash. Flames ignited in the grassy area between the eastbound and westbound lanes in the Altamont Pass and then jumped to a nearby hillside.READ MORE: UPDATE: PG&E Warns of Possible Rotating Outages as Bay Area Cooks Amid Heat Wave
Fueled by strong winds, the fire quickly spread to more than 100 acres, creating a frightening scene for commuters traveling through the pass between Tracy and Livermore.
The altamont is on fire pic.twitter.com/zCZTwqgtLc
— turd ferguson (@themarkosuave) July 10, 2020
The California Highway Patrol shut down traffic in both directions near Grantline as Alameda fire officials rushed dozens of firefighters to the scene.
— Johanna Maaghul (@johannamaaghul) July 10, 2020READ MORE: 1 Taken To Hospital, 2 Vehicles Damaged In Vegetation Fire Along Highway 101 In San Jose
For several hours, firefighters battled the blaze as traffic on the busy traffic artery between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley backed up for miles.
Around 3 a.m. two eastbound lanes were finally opened and around 4:30 a.m. traffic began moving in both directions.
By 6 a.m., officials said the fire was contained after scorching more than 200 acres.
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Overnight, CAL FIRE and Alameda County Fire resources responded to a vehicle accident with fire in the center divide of 580 in the Altamont Pass. Fire is now contained and has a final acreage of 222. pic.twitter.com/IXSVUe8Hhw
— CAL FIRE SCU (@calfireSCU) July 10, 2020
Firefighters remained on the scene, extinguishing hot spots and making sure the blaze was not whipped back up by the gusty breezes in the pass.