Crews mostly contain Patterson Fire near Altamont Pass

Firefighters with CalFire say a vegetation fire that rapidly spread in an unincorporated area of the Altamont Pass on Monday is at 75% containment. 

The Patterson Fire in Alameda County was first reported at 15 acres. Alameda County Fire Department first took a call about the fire at around 4:16 p.m. The fire burned about 95 acres. This was near the Altamont Pass Wind Farm Substation. 

The only remaining road closure in the area is Cross Road between Tesla and Patterson Pass roads. California Highway Patrol had earlier advised to use eastbound I-580. 

Crews made progress on the fire and alleviated a threat to a structure on Midway Road. There was no evidence of any powerlines down in the area. 

Cal Fire crews on scene were at the road's edge to prevent the fire from jumping the road as high winds carried flames through the valley. 

CHP Dublin thanked all the fire crews at the scene who prevented the fire from spreading even further. 

"Any time you add heat and wind to a situation, it can become explosive, but fortunately in this case, it was just a grass fire and they made really good progress in just a short few hours," said Cal Fire spokesperson Cecile Juliette. 

In downtown Livermore, Marina Bunce said she knows how scary fires can be. 

"Well we’re next to open land that they were doing construction on and they hadn’t taken away the debris, and some people were squatting. Wouldn’t you know it, they started a fire. It was huge, very scary," said Bunce. 

She knows to be fire ready and cautions other as well to have a go bag and be ready to leave. 

"We have fire extinguishers, we have water jugs in our garage near our barbecue and stored locations in our house," Bunce said. 

Luke Vivorius said his family has an evacuation plan and he knows how wind and heat can create a firestorm, especially around the pass. 

"The Altamont, the hills are always subject [to] fire, because it’s always so dry, never a good spot, cause I see a lot of black from fires, even accidental," he said. 

Cal Fire agrees it's best to be prepared. 

As crews responded to this fire, another call came in from Cross Road in Livermore, where a big rig's roof caught a power line waving in the wind. The driver heard the pop, saw the flash and the line come down and sparks started a vegetation fire. He quickly called 911. Cal Fire, and Alameda County Fire both responded. PG&E showed up to address the live wire on the ground. 

Meanwhile, the nearby Corral Fire, in a neighboring county, is holding at more than 14,000 acres and is 85% contained. That fire broke out on Saturday. Evacuation warnings for this fire in San Joaquin County were scheduled to be lifted at 6 p.m. 

The cause of the Patterson Fire is under investigation. 

KTVU's Alice Wertz contributed to this report. 

An earlier version of this story said the fire was contained based on CHP Dublin's social media post. We have edited the story to reflect a subsequent post by Cal Fire SCU. 

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Patterson Fire in the Altamont Pass. 


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