A wildfire named the Corral Fire has scorched approximately 14,000 acres east of San Francisco, leading to evacuation orders and highway closures. According to Cal Fire, California’s firefighting agency, the fire was 50 percent contained by Sunday evening.

San Francisco: Wildfire Burns 14,000 Acres, Thousands Evacuated

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The blaze ignited near Tracy, California, approximately 60 miles east of San Francisco and close to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

As of Sunday evening, the fire was 50 percent contained. Two firefighters suffered minor to moderate burn injuries on Saturday and were hospitalized. Both are expected to make a full recovery. At 14,000 acres, the Corral Fire is the largest wildfire in California so far this season.

Interstate 580, a major highway connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to San Joaquin County was shut down in both directions from Corral Hollow Road to Interstate 5 due to poor visibility from smoke.

While westbound lanes reopened on Sunday afternoon, eastbound lanes remained closed. San Joaquin emergency officials issued evacuation orders for areas west of the California Aqueduct, south of Corral Hollow Creek, west to Alameda County and south to Stanislaus County.

About 100 homes were evacuated with residents between Corral Hollow Road and Tracy Boulevard ordered to leave immediately.

The evacuation order was downgraded to a warning by 6 p.m. on Sunday advising residents to stay vigilant and be prepared for changes.

Approximately 400 firefighters, assisted by Cal Fire air tankers, battled the blaze. Strong winds and dry grass made containment difficult.

The grass, up to four feet tall in some areas served as a highly receptive fuel for the fire. While strong winds hindered efforts on Saturday night, calmer winds on Sunday allowed firefighters to make progress in containing the fire.

The fire began near the laboratory’s Site 300, which is about 15 miles east of the main installation. Site 300 supports the development of explosive materials and non-nuclear weapon prototypes.

The laboratory had conducted controlled burns to eliminate dry grass and create buffer zones around its buildings. The Corral Fire is not related to these controlled burns.

The wildfire presented no immediate threats to the laboratory’s facilities or operations. However, as a precaution, the laboratory activated its emergency operations center to monitor the situation.

Due to the fire hazard created by an abundance of dry grass, Santa Clara fire officials announced that all burn permits in their region would be suspended starting Monday. Residents were prohibited from burning anything on their properties to prevent further fires.

Despite an unusually wet winter with heavy snowfall and rainfall, fire officials warned that dry grass in the San Francisco and Modesto areas poses a fire hazard as summer approaches.

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The California wildfire season typically runs from April to October and officials address that fire threats remain year-round despite seasonal variations.

Stockton’s Mayor, Kevin J. Lincoln expressed solidarity and support for Tracy residents and first responders indicating that Stockton provided mutual aid to Tracy by covering a firehouse while local firefighters battled the Corral Fire.

A temporary evacuation point was established at the Larch Clover Community Center in Tracy. Cal Fire collaborated closely with Alameda County Fire Department and other emergency services partners to manage the situation.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento issued an excessive heat watch starting Tuesday morning through Thursday evening.

This watch covers areas including Carquinez Strait and Delta, Sacramento Valley, Northeast Foothills, northern San Joaquin Valley and portions of Shasta County.

The NWS warned that the expected heat levels could impact anyone without effective cooling or adequate hydration, urging residents to consider canceling outdoor activities during the heat of the day.

The fire started around 2:30 p.m. PT on Saturday near Interstate 580, on the western edge of Tracy, spreading to about 11,047 acres by midnight with 13% containment.

By Sunday afternoon, Cal Fire officials reported the fire had grown to 14,000 acres and was 30% contained.

Battalion Chief Josh Silveira explained that the combination of high temperatures, strong winds, and dry fuels made the fire challenging to control initially.

California firefighters made progress Sunday in containing a wind-driven wildfire that erupted in the grassy hills managed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The blaze has scorched thousands of acres 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of San Francisco, burned down a home and forced residents to evacuate the area near Tracy.

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The fire erupted on Saturday afternoon. By Sunday evening, the fire had devoured approximately 22 square miles (52 square kilometers). As of Sunday evening, the fire was 50% contained. The fire burned right up to the homes in the area and destroyed one house.

More than 400 personnel were assigned to combat the blaze. Firefighters utilized air tankers and ground crews to fight the fire.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) made progress, constructing and improving control lines due to more favorable weather conditions.

Thousands of residents including parts of the city of Tracy were ordered to evacuate to safety. The evacuation order was lifted on Sunday evening, allowing residents to return home, although they were advised to remain vigilant.

Two major highways including Interstate 580 which connects the San Francisco Bay Area to San Joaquin County were temporarily closed but reopened by Sunday afternoon.

The San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services issued an evacuation order for areas west of the California Aqueduct, south of Corral Hollow Creek, extending to Alameda and Stanislaus Counties.

The fire erupted near the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a center for nuclear weapons science and technology in the United States.

Laboratory spokesperson Paul Rhien confirmed that the research center was not under immediate threat and that all laboratory facilities and operations were safe.

Two firefighters suffered minor to moderate burns on Saturday and were expected to make a full recovery. No civilian injuries or fatalities were reported.

Sunday’s high temperature in Tracy reached 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius), with no rain in the forecast.

The National Weather Service warned of “dangerously hot conditions” later in the week, with expected highs of 103 F to 108 F (39.4 C to 42.2 C) in the San Joaquin Valley. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph (72 kph) were recorded in the region on Saturday night.

Residents were advised to temporarily use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes. A temporary evacuation point was established at Larch Clover Community Center in Tracy.

The cause of the fire was under investigation as of Sunday evening. The fire was reported at 2:39 p.m. on Saturday near Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Site 300. The fire reached 30 acres by 4:45 p.m. on Saturday before expanding to 4,920 acres.

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