Mt. Diablo Fire Approaches 1,000 Acres: See Raw Video Of Fast-Moving Blaze [VIDEO]
The Mt. Diablo fire, just 35 miles east of Oakland, has already grown to more than 800 acres. According to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the blaze will continue to grow, and only 10 percent is contained. Cal Fire officials expect the Mt. Diablo wildfire to expand as far as 1,000 acres and evacuation notices have been announced. San Jose Mercury News describes the Mt. Diablo fire as "the largest fire in recent history."
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Specifically, Evacuations have been ordered for residents of easter Contra Costa County's Curry Point area. Residents of the 75 homes along the Curry Canyon Road and Oak Hill Lane area fled from the Mt. Diablo inferno. By 11:45 p.m. Sunday, residents of Trail Ride Road, Russelmann Park Road, East Trail Road, Upper Trail Road and Lower Trail Road were evacuated as well. Evacuees were told to head over to the Clayton Community Library for refuge. Thankfully, no injuries or deaths have been reported.
Ann Hyde lives on Morgan Territory Road, just 2 1/2 miles from the origin of the fire. "I could just see it moving toward us," said Ann Hyde, "The embers are all over the place, and they make me nervous. ... We've never had anything this big before."
"It was pretty intense," said Donna Scott, 55, of Oak Hill Lane. Scott told the news that she fled from a wall of 30-foot flames. "They ate up part of my fence, but I think the firefighters had a pretty good grip on it and kept it from my house."
"This is going to be a long haul," Scott said. "The fire's hot and the weather's hot. It seems like the whole mountain's on fire right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's worse tomorrow."
The fire was first reported at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, said Cal Fire spokesperson Julie Hutchinson. By 2:45 p.m., the Mt. Diablo fire had spread across 15 acres, reported KTVU. By 3:30 p.m., the Mt. Diablo fire spread across 170 acres. Approximately 250 firefighters from Cal Fire, the Contra Costa County, Marin County and the East Bay Regional Park District fire departments raced to respond to the wildfire but fought a difficult battle that only contained a fraction of the blaze.
SF Gate described the fire on the side of Mt. Diablo as an "angry orange corkscrew of smoke" rising twards the sky. According to Cal Fire spokesperson Julie Hutchinson, the steep, twisting terrain of Mt. Diablo, one of the region's highest peaks, was an added obstacle for firefighters. Dense woods and dry oak brush also made it more difficult for the team to contain the fire.
According to SF Gate, firefighters were able to make noticeable progress on the northwestern side of the blaze. Helicopters dumped water and retardant over strategic areas to isolate the fire. However, a steady breeze over Mt. Diablo caused fire to spark in new territories, spreading more hot spots on the mountain.
The cause of the Mt. Diablo wildfire is unknown. CalFire expects the fire to continue to grow for two reasons until weather conditions change and until firefighters can steer the fire to terrain that is not as steep. What's more, the Mt. Diablo fire is just one of two fires near the Bay Area. A vegetation fire in Sonoma County has burnt 40 acres and has destroyed at least five structures, reported Cal Fire.
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