Altamont Pass grass fires along I-580 contained; Dry hot weather to blame, CAL FIRE says

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, July 23, 2023
Altamont Pass grass fire along I-580 contained, CAL FIRE says
The Alameda County fire that burned near Grant Line Rd. in the Altamont Pass between the I-580 and 205 split near Tracy is contained, CAL FIRE says.

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The fire that burned in the Altamont Pass near Tracy Saturday morning is contained, CAL FIRE says.

The fire burned near Grant Line Road between the I-580 and 205 split, officials said.

In the East Bay firefighters say hot, dry conditions may have contributed to the several grass fires. Luckily, the fires were brought under control and extinguished.

In the meantime many Bay Area residents are headed to places where they could safely beat the extreme heat and cool off.

MORE: Spare the Air Alert in effect for Bay Area through Saturday

Drivers on I-580 grabbed video of smoke and flames moving across the hillside.

"I came out of our house and saw four distinct columns," said CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Bryan Goff.

Goff says it was four fires over an 8-mile stretch which burned approximately 55-acres of open space.

ABC7's Lena Howland captured video of the fire.

The CHP tweeted, asking drivers to proceed with caution on Westbound 580. Initially CHP suspected possible arson but CAL FIRE says with temperatures spiking around 100 degrees, along with hot and dry conditions are creating easy fuel for fire.

"This morning it could have been someone dragging a chain. I don't think it's suspicious with the amount of traffic around. Everything's drying out, fuels drying out. It's going to get busier," Goff said.

Goff says it took about five hours to put the fires out.

The extreme heat of the day made The Wave water park in Dublin a busy place. Detra Eining and her daughter were cooling off.

MORE: Wildfire Academy prepares the next generation of firefighters

"I'm keeping my feet in the water. Chasing the little one makes me sweat, so I'm following after her," Eining said.

"I'm here celebrating my friend's kids' birthdays. It happens to be one of the hottest days -- perfect timing," said Farrah Tennell.

Michael Pinto and his friends found some big umbrellas to chill out under.

"You still need to find shade. It's not unbearable. Come prepared and have the right clothing," Pinto said.

Water park managers say capacity at The Wave is about 1,600 people. By midday it was getting crowded.

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