The grass fire near the Benicia Bridge — which was first reported today at 10:28 a.m.— was successfully contained by CalFire crews Saturday afternoon; no structures were damaged by the blaze.
North Bay, the East Bay hills, and the East Bay interior valleys are all currently in a Red Flag Warning until at least Monday at 6.am. — a first in since 2013. (While the Bay Area is no stranger to these National Weather Service [NWS]-issued warnings, they usually occur later in the year, beginning around June or July.) A particularly dangerous combination of strong north to northeast winds, low humidity, and high temperatures have combined to create potentially dangerous conditions throughout much of the region.
#RedFlagWarning in effect for the Northern California area today through Monday evening for gusty winds and low humidity. This is #CriticalFireWeather so use caution outdoors. More tips: https://t.co/upBwccxXFO pic.twitter.com/lUEOwBbzta— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) May 8, 2021
That cocktail of wildfire triggers came to fruition early Saturday when a brush fire was reported in Solano County.
As reported by KRON4, the morning fire quickly grew in size and eventually engulfed 45 acres of vegetation. The fire itself might've been started by a homeowner, who believes his riding lawn mower sparked the grass fire after running over a rock.
ABC7 noted that Benicia resident Anthony Wright, who reported the fire after seeing it smoking from afar, said the blaze later managed to jump to a nearby eucalyptus tree — a species of tree brought here from Australia during the 1850's Gold Rush era that has incredibly flammable timber — but "[on-site firefighters] got it" before the fire jumped to another tree.
Air tankers were also seen flying at low altitudes Saturday to drop fire retardants over the flames.
After a few hours of battling the inferno from both the ground and sky, it was considered by CalFire to be contained, though fire crews were on site for a few more hours after to ensure no lingering fires erupted from kindling and to strengthen control lines.
While the National Weather Service did issue a Red Flag Warning last week for the Central Valley, as well as parts of Solano County, this weekend's warning is the first of 2021 in the North Bay and East Bay.
Image: Getty Images/rootstocks