News

Evacuation warning issued for unincorporated south/east Tri-Valley

Red flag warning in effect as Cal Fire braces for dry thunderstorms, high winds

Cal Fire map shows evacuation warning area in yellow. The red area is the previously instituted evacuation order area due to the SCU Lightning Complex fires.

Cal Fire has issued an evacuation warning for rural unincorporated Tri-Valley generally south of Interstate 580 and east of Highway 84 due to fire danger with high winds and dry thunderstorms starting in the forecast starting overnight Sunday.

The warning excludes the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore, as well as some more-populated unincorporated areas such as Happy Valley and anything west of I-680 such as Castlewood, as of 7 p.m. Sunday.

No local evacuation order has been issued yet, but Cal Fire and Alameda County emergency officials urge residents to prepare themselves to evacuate if needed.

"This warning is being issued in advance of the weather event because of the remoteness of this area and the limited egress routes, which may be inaccessible should this fire spread as anticipated," Alameda County officials wrote in an AC Alert message just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

"For those with pets or livestock, as well as those with access and functional needs, you are encouraged to leave the area. All others should be prepared to leave if the situation worsens or if they perceive a fire threat," they added.

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The Tri-Valley warning comes as the SCU Lightning Complex fires south of Sunol continue to grow generally to the south and east, but weather conditions between Sunday night and Monday afternoon could exacerbate the wildfire danger -- both for current fires and the threat of new ones.

The complex, which is a collection of 20 separate vegetation fires caused by lightning strikes Aug. 15-16, increased slightly to 343,965 acres with 10% containment as of 7 p.m. Sunday. The complex is raging in parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and now Merced counties.

In response to a red flag warning amid difficult weather forecasts, Cal Fire issued a series of new evacuation warnings in eastern unincorporated Alameda County south of I-580, including much of the rural Tri-Valley.

In the Tri-Valley, the evacuation warning area includes south of I-580 in between Greenville Road and the San Joaquin County line to the Alameda/Santa Clara County lines; south of the Livermore city limits; south of Highway 84 in between Vineyard Avenue and I-680; south of I-680 to the fire perimeter; and the Alameda/Santa Clara County lines west of the Alameda/San Joaquin County lines to the Livermore city limits, to Highway 84 to I-680.

It also includes north of fire perimeter and the Alameda/Santa Clara county lines to Highway 84 to the Livermore city limits to I-580.

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The warning zone does not include the incorporated cities of Livermore or Pleasanton, as well as some unincorporated areas in Pleasanton close to the city such as Happy Valley, Castlewood and Foothill Road. Additionally, the warning zone does not include anything north of I-580 such as Dublin or west of I-680 such as parts of Pleasanton.

The only evacuation orders for Alameda County are all of Mines Road south of mile marker 10 to the county line as well as Frank Raines Park and Del Puerto Canyon Road in that area.

Cal Fire added a new evacuation order in Alameda County early Sunday morning: south of Welch Creek Road to the fire perimeter and the Alameda/Santa Clara county lines; and east of Calaveras Road at Welch Creek Road to the fire perimeter.

There are also a series of evacuation orders in place for parts of Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties, as well as other evacuation warnings for parts of Alameda, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Santa Clara and Merced counties.

The SCU Lightning Complex had caused no fatalities but resulted in injuries of two first-responders and two civilians as of Sunday night. Seventeen structures had been destroyed, and 20,065 other structures were under threat, according to Cal Fire.

More than 1,300 firefighters have been assigned to the SCU Lightning Complex.

Smoke and poor air quality has enveloped the Tri-Valley and most of the Bay Area as a result of the wildfires.

Earlier Saturday, the National Weather Services issued a red flag warning for much of the Bay Area from 5 a.m. Sunday to 5 p.m. Tuesday. Cal Fire officials urge residents to prepare for the possibility of evacuation orders or warnings prompted by existing or new vegetation fires amid the dry storms.

"The weather forecast for this weekend continues to be warm and dry. Remnants of Hurricane Genevieve will bring thunderstorms as early as Sunday," said Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director for Cal Fire.

"The best chance for thunderstorms and dry lightning is forecasted for the overnight hours tonight (Sunday) and into Monday morning. There will then be another chance for more activity Monday afternoon. Any thunderstorms will bring the threat of new fire starts to the entire complex. Gusty outflow winds remain a concern for unpredictable fire spread and safety of firefighters," he added.

There are also fast-moving wildfires raging elsewhere in the Bay Area and Northern California, including Solano, Sonoma, Napa and Santa Cruz counties.

Statewide, there were nearly 12,000 lightning strikes and more than 585 new wildfires burning nearly one million acres since Aug. 12. Most have been controlled but nearly two-dozen major incidents remain aflame across many jurisdictions, according to Berlant.

"The recent spike in wildfire activity is an important reminder for residents to take steps to prevent sparking a wildfire. Having an evacuation plan, a supply kit, and important paperwork will make it easier when it is time to GO. Remember one less spark, means one less wildfire," he added.

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Jeremy Walsh, a Benicia native and American University alum, joined Embarcadero Media in November 2013. After serving as associate editor for the Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com, he was promoted to editor of the East Bay Division in February 2017. Read more >>

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Evacuation warning issued for unincorporated south/east Tri-Valley

Red flag warning in effect as Cal Fire braces for dry thunderstorms, high winds

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 7:46 pm
Updated: Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 8:16 pm

Cal Fire has issued an evacuation warning for rural unincorporated Tri-Valley generally south of Interstate 580 and east of Highway 84 due to fire danger with high winds and dry thunderstorms starting in the forecast starting overnight Sunday.

The warning excludes the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore, as well as some more-populated unincorporated areas such as Happy Valley and anything west of I-680 such as Castlewood, as of 7 p.m. Sunday.

No local evacuation order has been issued yet, but Cal Fire and Alameda County emergency officials urge residents to prepare themselves to evacuate if needed.

"This warning is being issued in advance of the weather event because of the remoteness of this area and the limited egress routes, which may be inaccessible should this fire spread as anticipated," Alameda County officials wrote in an AC Alert message just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

"For those with pets or livestock, as well as those with access and functional needs, you are encouraged to leave the area. All others should be prepared to leave if the situation worsens or if they perceive a fire threat," they added.

The Tri-Valley warning comes as the SCU Lightning Complex fires south of Sunol continue to grow generally to the south and east, but weather conditions between Sunday night and Monday afternoon could exacerbate the wildfire danger -- both for current fires and the threat of new ones.

The complex, which is a collection of 20 separate vegetation fires caused by lightning strikes Aug. 15-16, increased slightly to 343,965 acres with 10% containment as of 7 p.m. Sunday. The complex is raging in parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and now Merced counties.

In response to a red flag warning amid difficult weather forecasts, Cal Fire issued a series of new evacuation warnings in eastern unincorporated Alameda County south of I-580, including much of the rural Tri-Valley.

In the Tri-Valley, the evacuation warning area includes south of I-580 in between Greenville Road and the San Joaquin County line to the Alameda/Santa Clara County lines; south of the Livermore city limits; south of Highway 84 in between Vineyard Avenue and I-680; south of I-680 to the fire perimeter; and the Alameda/Santa Clara County lines west of the Alameda/San Joaquin County lines to the Livermore city limits, to Highway 84 to I-680.

It also includes north of fire perimeter and the Alameda/Santa Clara county lines to Highway 84 to the Livermore city limits to I-580.

The warning zone does not include the incorporated cities of Livermore or Pleasanton, as well as some unincorporated areas in Pleasanton close to the city such as Happy Valley, Castlewood and Foothill Road. Additionally, the warning zone does not include anything north of I-580 such as Dublin or west of I-680 such as parts of Pleasanton.

The only evacuation orders for Alameda County are all of Mines Road south of mile marker 10 to the county line as well as Frank Raines Park and Del Puerto Canyon Road in that area.

Cal Fire added a new evacuation order in Alameda County early Sunday morning: south of Welch Creek Road to the fire perimeter and the Alameda/Santa Clara county lines; and east of Calaveras Road at Welch Creek Road to the fire perimeter.

There are also a series of evacuation orders in place for parts of Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties, as well as other evacuation warnings for parts of Alameda, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Santa Clara and Merced counties.

The SCU Lightning Complex had caused no fatalities but resulted in injuries of two first-responders and two civilians as of Sunday night. Seventeen structures had been destroyed, and 20,065 other structures were under threat, according to Cal Fire.

More than 1,300 firefighters have been assigned to the SCU Lightning Complex.

Smoke and poor air quality has enveloped the Tri-Valley and most of the Bay Area as a result of the wildfires.

Earlier Saturday, the National Weather Services issued a red flag warning for much of the Bay Area from 5 a.m. Sunday to 5 p.m. Tuesday. Cal Fire officials urge residents to prepare for the possibility of evacuation orders or warnings prompted by existing or new vegetation fires amid the dry storms.

"The weather forecast for this weekend continues to be warm and dry. Remnants of Hurricane Genevieve will bring thunderstorms as early as Sunday," said Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director for Cal Fire.

"The best chance for thunderstorms and dry lightning is forecasted for the overnight hours tonight (Sunday) and into Monday morning. There will then be another chance for more activity Monday afternoon. Any thunderstorms will bring the threat of new fire starts to the entire complex. Gusty outflow winds remain a concern for unpredictable fire spread and safety of firefighters," he added.

There are also fast-moving wildfires raging elsewhere in the Bay Area and Northern California, including Solano, Sonoma, Napa and Santa Cruz counties.

Statewide, there were nearly 12,000 lightning strikes and more than 585 new wildfires burning nearly one million acres since Aug. 12. Most have been controlled but nearly two-dozen major incidents remain aflame across many jurisdictions, according to Berlant.

"The recent spike in wildfire activity is an important reminder for residents to take steps to prevent sparking a wildfire. Having an evacuation plan, a supply kit, and important paperwork will make it easier when it is time to GO. Remember one less spark, means one less wildfire," he added.

Comments

Rich Buckley
Registered user
Livermore
on Aug 22, 2020 at 7:58 pm
Rich Buckley, Livermore
Registered user
on Aug 22, 2020 at 7:58 pm

8/22/2020 Brain Storming Fire Fighting Strategically. Should we consider tasking any existing Department of the Federal Government or modify an existing branch of the Department of Defense with the task of mounting high numbers of assets, quick response capabilities to CONTROL forest fires? Notice the operating word here being Control forest fire.

It wouldn't be cheap.

We could divide the country up into several territories. Maybe even use air bases that would change status over to strategic response bases.

So the West Coast would have 4 or 5 air strips under Federal management. When these assets are called into action at some predetermined level of need, they would swarm assets to the fire and control it quickly with an unending stream of safe intervals between aerial tanker drops, one after the other like a long railroad train with large numbers of aerial tankers hitting the fire.

If the assets deployed are great enough in depth, why couldn't we still manage our forests, letting some stuff burn, but offering a wall of protection against populated areas. The forest management priorities could be maintained.

Remember, everybody was saying let it burn until the Yellow Stone fire came over the mountain and approached the park headquarters. The west coast is sort of at that same point.

I'm focusing on aerial response where I at least have some background. Others I assume would discuss ground crew considerations.

Comments?


SallyAnne Sherwood
Registered user
San Ramon
on Aug 22, 2020 at 8:14 pm
SallyAnne Sherwood, San Ramon
Registered user
on Aug 22, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Pleasanton Weekly this is conflicting information. South of 580 & East of 84 is the entire city of Livermore. Please get your facts straight before posting alarmist headlines


Jeremy Walsh
Registered user
another community
on Aug 22, 2020 at 8:18 pm
Jeremy Walsh, another community
Registered user
on Aug 22, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Thank you for your comment, SallyAnne. As the headline and article clearly state, the evacuation warning applies only to unincorporated areas within that general freeway/highway bound. The incorporated cities of Pleasanton and Livermore are not included, as stated above.


Georgia Styles
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Aug 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm
Georgia Styles, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Aug 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm

Yes, SallyAnne, headline is correct and content was updated very timely given the level of detail needed for areas in potential danger. Again, It did say unincorporated and there is a map and that’s all we needEd right then.

Thank you Pleasanton Weekly for alerting us and doing a great job detailing this ever changing story that could affect so many!

Let’s keep the comments positive! In these remarkably trying times (especially when we are dealing with unpredictable wildfires/weather and people’s lives) we need to rise above.

Let’s say a prayer for the tired firefighters and those in harms way. Let’s show some compassion and love!


JeffS
Registered user
Mohr Park
on Aug 22, 2020 at 11:13 pm
JeffS, Mohr Park
Registered user
on Aug 22, 2020 at 11:13 pm

Rich Buckley –
Having a much larger coordinated effort for fighting West Coast fires is a great idea. But, doesn't this sort of task and responsibility already fall under the wing of FEMA? And rather than set up a new system to switch over air bases, why don't we have a better-coordinated system for intra-state cooperation of planes capable of water or retardant drops? We do get some good coordination from other states and Canada and even Australia, but look how long it takes; CAN and AUS were just coordinated yesterday to come and help. The lightning fires have been burning for over a week.


Evac Zone enlarged Sunday morning
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Aug 23, 2020 at 11:17 am
Evac Zone enlarged Sunday morning, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Aug 23, 2020 at 11:17 am

It appears Cal Fire has extended the evacuation order northwards.

As the fire is now approaching more heavily populated parts of Pleasanton and Livermore, it'd be great to get frequent updates!

The Cal Fire info is hard for normal folks to interpret, but a map like the one above really helps get a decent message out.
Web Link

Otherwise we have to decode ambguous statements like these:

"South of Welch Creek Rd. to the fire perimeter and the Alameda/Santa Clara County Line" - but Welch Creek Road runs partly north-south. Which part of the road is being referenced by the order?

"South of West Corral Hollow Road to Stanislaus County line"

Cal Fire clearly has their hands full, so this is a great place for skilled journalists to ask the right questions and get the key information out to the public.


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