Wildfire East of San Francisco Prompts Evacuations and Highway Shutdown


A fast-spreading wildfire east of San Francisco has burned through more than 12,000 acres, shut down major highways and prompted evacuation orders for nearby residents, according to public safety alerts and Cal Fire, California’s firefighting agency.

The blaze, named the Corral Fire, began Saturday afternoon outside Tracy, Calif., and was only 13 percent contained early Sunday, Cal Fire said.

The fire is the largest so far in this year’s California wildfire season, which typically runs from April to October. After an unusually wet winter that included heavy snowfall and significant rainfall, experts expect the spring and summer seasons to stay relatively mild.

Still, California fire officials warned last week that an abundance of dry grass in the San Francisco and Modesto areas was creating a greater fire hazard as summer neared. Residents were prohibited from burning anything on their own properties, and fire officials for the Santa Clara area announced that all burn permits in their region would be suspended beginning Monday.

Smoke from the Corral blaze, which was reported to have started as a grass fire, closed down parts of Interstate 580 beginning late Saturday, and an evacuation order was issued for nearby communities. Two firefighters were reportedly injured while battling the blaze. Their injuries were not life threatening, a local fire official told CNN.

“Praying for our Tracy neighbors and first responders,” Mayor Kevin J. Lincoln of nearby Stockton posted on social media. Stockton fire departments were helping cover firehouse shifts while local brigades were dispatched to the Corral fire.

The fire began near a test site for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.





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