GILROY, Calif. (KRON) – From Gilroy to the East Bay, multiple wildfires are erupting across the Bay Area Monday night.
One fire is burning dangerously close to the Benicia Bridge, while in the South Bay another fire is forcing people to flee their homes.
Fire officials tell us that strong winds are fueling the flames.
Within the past hour, Contra Costa County fire tells us that two fires burning in Rodeo and Crockett have since merged into one blaze.
In the South Bay, firefighters continue to battle the Crews Fire burning in Gilroy near Crews Road and Oak Spring Circle.
Evacuation orders remain in effect Monday afternoon as the fire is threatening several homes.
Firefighters are making progress in the battle against the Crews Fire.
The battle against the Crews Fire, which broke out near Crews Road on Sunday afternoon, is burning in the hills east of Gilroy.
At least 5,400 acres have burned, much of it along Canada Road.
Two structures were lost but no homes.
As of Monday afternoon, the fire was just 20-percent contained, says Deputy Chief Mike Marcucci.
“We’re out here trying to get this thing buttoned up, trying to keep it out of the Henry Coast State Park and trying to keep it from hitting Highway 152. That traffic corridor obviously a very important target for us to miss,” Marcucci said.
Canada Road resident Eric Cohen showed KRON4 how the fire surrounded his home at the top of a hill, crediting firefighters and defensible space for saving it.
“I was relieved, I was the only one able to make it up last night, and I was able to tell a couple of the neighbors that their places were in tact,” Cohen said.
Fire retardant helped save Cohen’s vehicles and barn. His horses will need a bath but they were not hurt.
The area is mostly ranch land and 70 people were evacuated from the few homes in the area.
Much of the battle is being conducted from the air with tankers and helicopters.
Firefighters expect to be here for several days tackling hot spots or small islands of unburned grass sparked by the wind.
“Not a very densely populated community out here in South County, but with that a lot of structures are saved. Last night was a lot valiant work done by Cal Fire and local government cooperated crews. Getting in front of that fire between the residences and saving a lot of property,” Marcucci said.
The evacuations remain in effect and Cal Fire are also on scene.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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