FAIRFIELD, CA - Fire crews got a good handle on a grass fire that spread to a nearby Fairfield neighborhood by Tuesday evening, nearly three hours after the blaze ignited.
The fire started around 3:45 p.m. on a grassy hillside near eastbound Interstate 80 and East Manual Compos Parkway. The fire department said there were four to five pockets of flames in the area.
The flames eventually jumped a divider and spread to the nearby neighborhood. Two houses were completely destroyed and three others were damaged when they were set ablaze by the grass fire, Fairfield spokesperson Gale Spears said. The homes were located on Marigold Drive near Interstate 80.
Spears said fire crews worked quickly to protect dozens of threatened structures including houses and a nearby apartment complex. At least 50 homes were evacuated.
Fairfield police officers evacuated residents in between the 2800 and 3000 blocks of Marigold Drive were ordered to evacuate and streets were closed. The 3000 block of North Texas Street was also evacuated and shut down, Mayoral said.
The residents were evacuated to Fairfield High School, at 205 E. Atlantic Ave., Spears said.
Several cars in a parking lot along I-80 also went up in flames. However, thick black smoke that briefly shut two lanes of the interstate has dissipated, and the highway is fully open again.
Around 7:30 p.m., fire crews had 70 percent of the grass fire contained; crews battling the house fires worked to extinguish hot spots in the houses.
Several agencies, including the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Contra Costa County Fire Department, responded to help battle the blaze.
The fire department said the fire consumed light flashy fuels. The cause of the fire is unknown, but investigators believe it started along the freeway.
News10/KXTV, The Associated Press and Bay City News Network