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Flash: Grass Fires Push Smoke into Berkeley

By Bay City News
Friday October 04, 2013 - 02:23:00 PM

A grass fire that started south of state Highway 12 in the Suisun City area this afternoon has grown to more than 1,000 acres, a Cal Fire spokesman said. 

The eight-alarm fire is about 50 percent contained, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said as of 3:30 p.m. today. 

At least one structure has been destroyed by the fire, and around five to 10 others were threatened. 

The fire, which is being driven south by strong winds, triggered evacuations and road closures in the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, according to Dixon Fire Chief Aaron McAlister. 

Berlant said the large fire is one of several in the North Bay being fanned by strong winds today. 

The hot, dry windy conditions have triggered red flag warnings in the area. 

"This fire is evidence of what these gusty offshore winds can do and why it's so important everyone be careful out there today," Berlant said. 

The fire has caused reports of smoke throughout the East Bay and even as far away as San Francisco and the Peninsula. Berkeley residents in the Claremont-Elmwood area complained of smelling smoke. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District this afternoon issued a smoke advisory warning Bay Area residents, especially those with asthma and other respiratory issues, to stay inside with the windows and doors closed as much as possible.