Brush fire closes westbound Highway 80 off-ramp at Gilman Street

Fire trucks race to the Arch Street fire
Anjuli Sastry/File

A brush fire near westbound Interstate Highway 80 and Gilman Street caused a temporary traffic closure Monday afternoon.

Berkeley Fire Department on-duty Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe said the fire, which was reported to BPD and BFD about 2:19 p.m. Monday, burned roadside vegetation on the west side of the Gilman Street off-ramp, creating lot of smoke and “reducing visibility on the freeway to almost zero.”

California Highway Patrol officer Kevin Bartlett said the Gilman Street off-ramp had been closed to traffic as a result of the reported brush fire. Kehoe added that the westbound Gilman off-ramp was closed for about 40 minutes for the duration of the incident, but the Gilman off-ramp has now been reopened.

The fire was under control and extinguished by about 2:40 p.m., according to Kehoe, and caused slight damage to nearby guard rails and irrigation systems — but no injuries.

Kehoe said BFD did not know what exactly caused the fire, as of press time.

“If I venture to guess, the cause was discarded smoking material, also known as a cigarette,” Kehoe said.

Bobby Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Bobby Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bobbylee_dc.