Oakland firefighters are hoping to have a brush fire in the Oakland hills fully contained by tonight after it forced evacuations yesterday afternoon.
Oakland fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton told Bay City News this morning that the fire was 80 percent contained. She said that firefighters determined that the blaze was sparked near a construction site at a home on Skyview Drive.
The Edwards Fire was first reported at about 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday and quickly spread on a steep hillside below Campus Drive, the site of an old rock quarry.
A four-alarm response was quickly called and aid was requested from other agencies, including Cal Fire and the Alameda County Fire Department. Numerous homes were evacuated on surrounding streets.
As smoke billowed, visible to highway traffic on I-580, planes and helicopters dropping loads of red fire retardant buzzed the ground.
Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to homes, but it grew to about 22 acres as of Tuesday evening and was 60 percent contained. Because forward progress had been stopped, the evacuations were lifted.
One firefighter was treated for dehydration on Tuesday, according to Bay City News. No other injuries were reported.
Oakland firefighters stayed in the area overnight making sure the conflagration didn't flare up again and remain there today checking for hotspots.
A red flag warning for high fire danger has been in effect for the East Bay hills this week due to the hot, dry and breezy conditions and remains in effect until later this afternoon.
For many residents, the rapidly spreading fire in immediately raised the spectre of the firestorm of 1991, when more than 3,000 homes were destroyed, 25 people were killed and 150 more were injured in the Oakland hills.