Hills Fire Update: Freeways Close for Repairs

Portions of Highways 580 and 13 were scheduled to close at 9 p.m. for about 45 minutes while PG&E replaces power lines.

Updated 7:50 p.m., Friday, June 8

The Edwards Avenue off-ramp on Interstate Highway 580 reopened Friday evening following a three-alarm brush fire in the Oakland hills, but freeways in the area were scheduled to close again at 9 p.m. for electrical repairs, officials said.

The off-ramp, which was closed in response to a fire in the area east of Highway 580 near Mountain Boulevard and Keller Avenue, reopened just before 5 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

However, officials planned to close Highway 580 in both directions at 9 p.m. for 30 to 45 minutes to allow PG&E to string up power lines, the CHP said.

Westbound 580 will be closed at 98th Avenue, including the Keller and Edwards Avenue ramps, and eastbound Highway 580 will be closed at Seminary Avenue. Southbound state Highway 13 will also be closed at Mountain Boulevard, the CHP said.

The three-alarm fire, reported around 1:45 p.m., triggered evacuations along Altura Place and Rifle Lane, where some homes were threatened, according to Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton.

Firefighters faced dry conditions, steep terrain and moderate winds but were ultimately able to limit the fire to about two acres and contain it by about 3:15 p.m. without injury or structural damage, Drayton said.

They were to remain on the scene Friday night, however, to make sure the fire does not reignite, Drayton said.

CalFire sent two helicopters to help fight the fire, according to news reports.

The fire appears to have been triggered when a car struck a power pole in the area of Mountain Boulevard and Edwards Avenue, Drayton said.

Community members should be aware that conditions will grow more dangerous this weekend, and precautions should be taken to avoid fires, she said.

"We're expecting higher winds tomorrow and hotter temperatures," Drayton said.

The fire also caused a power outage affecting an estimated 6,700 customers, according to PG&E. As of 6 p.m., around 150 customers were still waiting for power to be restored. It was expected to be restored by 7 p.m.

Bay City News contributed to this report.


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