Bay Area Wildfire Prompts Smoke Advisory

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CLAYTON, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire burning in a San Francisco Bay Area wilderness park has prompted a smoke advisory for three counties.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District said residents in parts of Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties should take precautions Monday, including setting air conditioning units and car vent systems to recirculate.

Elderly people, children and those with respiratory illnesses were advised to be particularly careful.

The fire in Mt. Diablo State Park has burned 1,500 acres. It is 10 percent contained.

About 100 homes have been evacuated.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A wildfire burning in a San Francisco Bay Area wilderness park grew and forced out more residents overnight, bringing the number of evacuated homes to about 100.

The blaze in Mt. Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County had burned 1,500 acres as of Monday morning, up from about 800 acres the previous day, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It was 10 percent contained.

Roughly 25 homes were evacuated overnight, officials said.

The blaze broke out Sunday amid temperatures near triple digits in the early afternoon.

By nightfall, it had surged to 800 acres, state fire officials said. The fire spewed a plume of smoke visible for miles and led to the evacuation of 50 to 75 homes in Clayton, a town of about 11,000 people northeast of San Francisco, alongside the park.

Firefighters are facing erratic winds, high temperatures and steep, rugged terrain. But they're confident they will get the blaze under control, Calfire spokesman David Shew said.

"We'll get it, but it will probably be a few days," Shew said. Hundreds of additional firefighters were expected to join the fight Monday.

Meanwhile, an evacuation center has been established at Clayton Community Library. Though not far from more densely populated parts of the Bay Area, the threatened homes were on sparsely populated properties dotted with animal pens and shooting ranges.

Karen Cooper, who works at a kennel in the area, said she had safely evacuated 20 dogs, but two of her horses, named Butter and Pineapple, were missing.

"It's been intense," Cooper told the Contra Costa Times.


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