LIVERMORE (KPIX) – In scorching heat, firefighters battled the Marsh Fire comprised of more than a dozen lightening-sparked fires burning in Alameda and Santa Clara counties. Around nightfall, CalFire consolidated the blazes with other fires in the area and renamed them the Lightning Complex Fires.
High on the hills above Sunol, five separate wildfires were burning, casting a red glow on the ridges and billowing thick smoke down into the valley.READ MORE: With Reservoir Levels Low, Mandatory Water Restrictions Loom For Marin Residents
Monday afternoon, the winds picked up, blowing the fire on Palomares Ridge down toward the homes on Kilkare Road. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and CalFire issued mandatory evacuations.
“It’s a risk. Living in a one-way canyon is risky,” said Shelli Goodrich.
She lives almost at the top of Kilkare Road and said this was the first time she’s had to evacuate in the 16 years she’s lived here.
“I think they’re trying to be super cautious because they don’t have a whole lot of people to fight the fires, because they’re everywhere right now,” says Goodrich.READ MORE: COVID Vaccines: Santa Clara County Launches Outreach Teams To Aid Holdouts
Some of the fires burning around Sunol were not being staffed by firefighters. That’s partly because the fires are in really rough terrain, so crews can’t access them. It’s also because there just aren’t enough resources to go around.
“We have orders in for more crews and stuff, but they do prioritize the fires based on life threats, property threats, and move crews to the fire locations that need it most,” says Capt. Ryan Lubben, a spokesperson for CalFire.
Many people who live along the narrow canyon road decided not to take any chances and were leaving anyway. Authorities set up an emergency evacuation shelter at the Residence Inn, in Livermore.
Kilkare Road was under mandatory evacuation orders around 12:30 p.m., but that order was downgraded a few hours later to a warning. The wind died down and the fire was no longer moving toward the homes.MORE NEWS: Derek Chauvin Trial: San Francisco DA Boudin Says 'A Long Way To Go' On Reform After Guilty Verdicts
“I’m in the process of packing up anyway, so we’re going to take things on the safe side,” said Kilkare resident Joe Trevisano.