Posted by on August 2, 2017
Categories: Bay Area

A 20-acre vegetation fire in the East Bay hills is about 20 percent contained, but firefighters don’t yet know when it will be completely extinguished, according to Alameda County Fire officials.

About half of the fire is within the Oakland city limits in the hills, and the other half is on land owned by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said.

The northeast section of the fire area is giving firefighters the most trouble because of the heavy vegetation and number of trees there, she said.

About 150 to 200 firefighters from 9 fire agencies battling the blaze, including 75 firefighters with Cal Fire, according to Drayton.

Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout the night and all day Thursday if necessary.

Drayton said weather conditions for firefighters are expected to improve tonight because fog is forecasted to roll in around sunset and relative humidity will rise.

The blaze was initially reported at 1:05 p.m. near Grizzly Peak
Boulevard and South Park Drive.

No injuries have been reported and structures are being threatened, Drayton said.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.

Some roads in the area remain closed, including parts of Grizzly Peak Boulevard.

Earlier in the day, University of California at Berkeley police recommended that employees evacuate from the Lawrence Hall of Science and two other nearby facilities.

In addition, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at 1 Cyclotron Road, which is also off Centennial Road, advised its employees to leave work early because of the fire, lab spokesman Jon Weiner said.

According to Drayton, about 100 children who were at two camps on East Bay Regional Park District land were voluntarily evacuated by the district because smoke was entering their campgrounds.