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Corral Fire Forces Evacuations in California as Heat Filters Up from Mexico

3 weeks ago
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A wildfire in California exploded in size over the weekend as heat begins to build across the West. Here is what you need to know about this developing situation.

Corral Fire Explodes in San Joaquin County, California

A grass fire that ignited on Saturday afternoon in San Joaquin County, California is continuing to grow in size on Sunday, forcing evacuations and putting residents on edge. Warmer temperatures and strong winds have fueled the rapid growth of the fire and prompted local officials to warn that conditions will continue to remain ripe for more development.

The Corral Fire got its start in Tracy at about 2:30 pm on Saturday. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL Fire), the fire had grown to over 14,000 acres in size and was only 30% contained as of Sunday afternoon. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the blaze.

County officials told residents west of the California Aqueduct, to the south of Corral Hollow Creek, west to Alameda County, and south to Stanislaus County to evacuate immediately. The Larch Clover Community Center is serving as a temporary evacuation site for residents that need shelter.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Josh Silveira confirmed that two firefighters with Alameda County were injured fighting the fire. The firefighters sustained minor to moderate injuries and were treated at a local hospital.

The California Department of Transportation also confirmed that a section of Interstate 580 is closed in both directions due to the wildfire creating zero visibility in the area. The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Sacramento said that wind speeds of up to 40 mph will translate to a higher chance of the fire spreading even further in the coming days.

Building heat will also increase the risk of more fire danger. An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued for the San Joaquin Valley and into the adjacent foothills beginning on Tuesday and continuing through Thursday. The mercury is forecast to hit as high as 105 degrees in some communities.

CAL Fire has ordered the suspension of all residential outdoor burning of branches and leaves across Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and the western portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. The agency said that the hot and dry conditions expected in the coming days led to the decision to ban outdoor burning. CAL Fire said that it has already responded to more than 1,200 wildfires in California so far in 2024.


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