Albany residents evacuate when fires erupt

Fire crews in Albany say a fire covering about three acres on Sunday is now contained but they’ll continue to monitor the situation throughout the night. 

The fire was reported around 3:30 p.m. and fire officials say there were two blazes burning at the same time. 

"My niece texted me and said ‘Are you OK? Because Albany Hill is on fire’," said Zee Bakker, a Pierce Street resident.

Evacuations were issued about 4:30 p.m. after fire officials began tackling two separate fires in Albany. 

The fires were just blocks away from each other, one near the Pierce Street Park and the other in Albany Hills. Zee Bakker says she wasn’t home when her neighbors evacuated. 

"I just went home right away. I drove as fast as I can and then they wouldn’t let me in," Bakker said.   

"The fire was across the street. Then I would say approximately 20 minutes later, there was another fire notice up the block on the hill, which has a lot of eucalyptus trees and it’s very dry," said Diane Williamson, a Pierce Street resident.

The Albany Fire Department says about three acres were burned and there was no property damage and no injuries reported. 

Albany Fire Capt. James Berry says though the fire was quickly contained, they’ll remain on the scene as a precaution.  

"We will be here overnight, making sure that nothing rekindles and that there’s no hot spots. But for the most part the active fire fight is completed," said Berry said. 

Albany firefighters were assisted by neighboring fire departments including the Berkeley, Richmond, El Cerrito and Contra Costa County. 

 Berry says it’s too early to tell if the two fires are connected and they’ll continue investigating.