BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Police and fire department officials say they are cracking down on gatherings in turnouts along Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley and Oakland because of increased fire danger.
The area is a popular spot to watch the sunset with sweeping scenic views. But lately, officials say the crowd gets younger when night falls, and the fun increasingly has turned to illegal fireworks, bonfires and other reckless behavior.
Officials said there had been at least eight small fires in the area since June 1st.
On Tuesday, the University of California Police Department (UCPD) announced it would increase patrols along Grizzly Peak between Centennial Drive and Claremont Avenue.
“Because this area along Grizzly Peak Boulevard resides within the jurisdictions of several law enforcement agencies (Oakland PD, UC Berkeley PD and East Bay Regional Parks PD), you will likely see an increased law enforcement presence in the area,” the UCPD announcement read.
“With countless fires going on in the region we are a ticking time bomb of sorts. it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” said Michael Hunt, spokesperson for the Oakland Fire Dept.
It’s not being called a curfew, but officials announced a new rule: no stopping in the turnouts along grizzly Peak from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m unless it’s an emergency.
“Do not come up here at night. if you’re up here during the day you should not be smoking up here,” said Dan Kalb, an Oakland City Councilmember.
The UCPD asks that residents report anyone igniting fireworks or setting fires immediately. The numbers to call are the following:
Berkeley PD: 510-981-5900
UC Berkeley PD: 510-642-6760
East Bay Regional Parks PD: 510-881-1833
Oakland PD: 510-238-3455
The department noted that calls to the wrong dispatch center will be transferred to the correct jurisdiction.