Grass fire in Benicia prompts brief closure of I-780

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A grass fire prompted the closure of all lanes of Interstate 780 in Benicia Thursday evening. Crews arrived on scene quickly to get the smoke and fire under control. (KGO)

Fire crews rushed to Benicia State Park where a fire started in a eucalyptus grove and spread fast. It burned seven acres there before reaching eastbound Interstate 780. The wind carried the fire into the median and then across all westbound lanes and burned another acre nearby.

Benicia Fire officials called for backup, which arrived from five different agencies.

Travis Air Force Base even brought in water because hydrants were nowhere near this fire, which was starting to threaten structures.

"I was surprised how aggressively it was burning for it to jump a multilane freeway that quick," said Benicia Fire Chief Josh Chadwick. "Then structures were threatened. (We) went to third alarm based on the threat."

At first, it was just smoke that was causing visibility problems on the highway but once the fire reached it, authorities knew they had to shut it down.
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