A fire broke out Tuesday morning in the Oakland hills, on the final day of an extended Red Flag Warning amid record-dry conditions, and it engulfed two homes and spread to nearby vegetation before being contained.
The fire was reported around 9:45 a.m. in the vicinity of Merriewood Drive and Crown Avenue, according to a tweet from the Oakland Fire Department. As KGO is reporting, neighbors reported "hearing two pops and a loud explosion" at the time the fire broke out.
Oakland Fire is responding to a 2 Alarm Fire, Two structures and wildland Involved. Multiple crews are on scene at Merriewood Drive and Crown, and in fire attack. Call came in approximately 30 minutes ago. #OFD. More details to come.— Oakland Fire Department (CA) (@OaklandFireCA) October 27, 2020
As KPIX reports as of 10:30 a.m., smoke from the fire had dissipated considerably, but the Oakland Police Department tweeted at 10:32 that they were assisting with traffic control, and it seemed the fire was still burning.
Oakland Police are assisting with area safety/traffic control while Oakland Fire are on scene of a house fire. Avoid the area of Crown and Merriwood Drive pic.twitter.com/7eRKjUc4HF— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) October 27, 2020
At 10:40, the Oakland Fire Department tweeted that while the fire was still active, it was largely confined "to two structures and nearby vegetation."
Update: KRON4 reports that firefighters are initially attributing the cause of the fire to an overloaded generator.
Update: Still a working fire, largely CONFINED to two structures and nearby vegetation. Crews remain in fire attack. This remains a 2Alarm Fire. Please avoid Area of Crown and Merriewood Drive in the Montclair Hills. There was a 50x100 exposure into the vegetation Oakland. #OFD pic.twitter.com/ajkjYGuZWL— Oakland Fire Department (CA) (@OaklandFireCA) October 27, 2020
A map of the location of the fire in the Montclair hills:
The 1991 Oakland firestorm, technically named the Tunnel Fire, occurred in this same part of the Oakland hills, and caused major destruction in the nearby Broadway Terrace neighborhood. The wildfire, which occurred at this same time of year under Diablo wind conditions, burned only around 1,500 acres but claimed 25 lives and destroyed 2,843 single-family dwellings, as well as 437 apartment and condominium units.
This morning's fire obviously brings back scary memories for those who still live in the hills and remember that blaze from 29 years ago.
We'll update you as we learn more.