San Francisco News

Cause of Yerba Buena Island fire investigated

Monday, October 21, 2013

A fire broke out on Yerba Buena Island Sunday night, giving crews a major challenge and creating a traffic mess for drivers.

The fire started just before 8 p.m. near the Bay Bridge. It was burning in a very remote part of the island on the south end near the western span, close to the Yerba Buena tunnel.

Fire teams were able to get a good handle on the flames by about 10 p.m., but it did create quite the traffic snarl and that continues to be the big problem.

The flames quickly climbed up the side of Yerba Buena Island.

The biggest concern was that it could reach the Coast Guard stations here. There's a lot of communications equipment at the top of the hill.

Fire commanders dispatched at least one fire boat to attack the flames from the bay. Despite the traffic snarl, fire trucks were able to get over the Bay Bridge from San Francisco to back up some of the crews that were already there.

"Everything's under control right now, there's no reason for anyone to get concerned about the residential area," said Marion Saez, Director of Island Operations.

"We had some initial reports from telephones that there could have been some fireworks involved," SFFD Assistant Chief Matthew McNaughton. "We basically had two spot fires that were rapidly growing on the side of the island."

Chief McNaughton says the first reports of the fire did come from San Francisco. The good news is that there were no injuries. And even though the flames were traveling towards federal property, they never got close enough to threaten any buildings because crews were able to quickly cut them off then chase the flames back down the hill.

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fire, traffic, bay bridge, sffd, coast guard, san francisco news
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