With a blaze in Butte County reddening the Berkeley skies and a fire in Oakland prompting full response from its fire department, Berkeley Fire Department is sending engines for support.
BFD spokesperson Keith May said BFD is sending one engine to assist the city of Oakland as its fire department responds to a fire on Highway 13, just south of Joaquin Miller Road. The smoke reported by residents in Berkeley, however, comes from a fire about 150 miles north in Butte County.
The Butte County Camp Fire has burned more than 8,000 acres of land and is zero percent contained as of press time, according to information released by the CAL FIRE Butte Unit and the Butte County Fire Department on their shared Twitter account.
May said BFD has sent a strike team of five engines led by a battalion chief to support firefighters in Butte County.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District also issued a warning Thursday afternoon, notifying residents of air quality impacts in the Bay Area due to the smoke drifting south from the Camp Fire.
“The Air District is not forecasting an exceedance of the federal air quality health standard for the region,” the alert said. “If the smell of smoke is present, it is important that Bay Area residents protect their health by avoiding exposure. If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside.”
The strong winds seen in the Bay Area also pose a danger by enabling the spread of fire, according to May. He advised residents against having outdoor barbecues or anything that could risk sparking a fire.
May said the low humidity and the dryness of trees and brush are among the reasons for the Camp Fire and also pose a potential danger in Berkeley.
“This is the type of situation where, if a fire starts, it can spread rapidly,” May said.