California firefighters battle wind-driven wildfire east of San Francisco overnight

California firefighters battle wind-driven wildfire east of San Francisco overnight

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California firefighters, aided by aircraft, battled a wind-driven wildfire that began Saturday and continued burning early Sunday in an area spanning the San Francisco Bay area and downtown from California, authorities said.

The Corral Fire started Saturday afternoon near the city of Tracy, 60 miles (96 kilometers) east of San Francisco, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the city of Livermore, according to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. of California, or Cal Fire.

Dark plumes of smoke rose into the sky above the fire area, made up mostly of grassy hills, where strong winds were expected to continue overnight.

Late Saturday, Cal Fire updated the size of the fire to 17.2 square miles (44.5 square kilometers) with 13% contained, which increased from a previous report of 15.6 square miles (40.5 square kilometers). 4 square kilometers).

Interstate 580, which connects the San Francisco Bay Area to San Joaquin County in central California, was closed in both directions from Corral Hollow Road to Interstate 5 due to lack of visibility due to smoke, he said. the California Department of Transportation in a statement.

Cal Fire Santa Clara unit chief Baraka Carter said two firefighters were injured, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services issued an evacuation order, noting the wildfire in an area east of Interstate 580. Residents between Corral Hollow Road and Tracy Boulevard were ordered to leave their homes, and Residents south of Tracy Boulevard were told to prepare for evacuation.

An evacuation update included areas west of the California Aqueduct, south of Corral Hollow Creek, west of Alameda County and south of Stanislaus County. A temporary evacuation point was established at the Larch Clover Community Center in Tracy, the county’s emergency services office said on its website.

The wildfire occurred near Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Site 300 southwest of Tracy, Cal Fire said in a social media post Saturday night.

Lawrence Livermore is a research and development institution that focuses primarily on the United States nuclear weapons arsenal. Site 300, 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of the main lab facility, supports “explosive materials development, as well as hydrodynamic testing and diagnostics,” according to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory website.

“Here, our researchers can safely formulate, manufacture and test high-explosive assemblies to evaluate the performance of non-nuclear weapons prototypes and components,” the website says about Site 300.

The wildfire posed no threat to any laboratory facilities or operations and the fire had moved away from the site, Lawrence Livermore spokesman Paul Rhien said in a statement to The Associated Press early Sunday.

“We have been working closely with Cal Fire, the Alameda County Fire Department and other emergency services partners throughout the night,” Rhien said. “As a precaution, we have activated our emergency operations center to monitor the situation over the weekend.”