Brush fire affects traffic at I-80 Gilman offramp in West Berkeley

Crews responded to a brush fire by the westbound 1-80 Gilman Street offramp Monday, Aug. 7. Photo: Robert Mann

A brush fire at the westbound I-80 Gilman Street offramp prompted authorities to shut down part of the highway Monday afternoon.

“Westbound 80 to Gilman offramp is shut down, as well as the slow lane,” said California Highway Patrol’s Officer Matthew Hamer around 3 p.m.

By 3:20 p.m., a reader reported on Twitter that the area looked clear.

Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong, reached by Berkeleyside later in the evening, said his crews responded to a report of a 20-foot section of grass on fire at 2:19 p.m. By the time they arrived, personnel from Golden Gate Fields had already begun spraying the area with water, so the firefighters just had to extinguish a burning wooden guard rail, Dong said.


The highway was soon reopened.

The cause of the fire had not been determined by Monday evening, Dong said.

Initially, the fire backed up traffic and sent smoke billowing over the lanes. Berkeleyside readers began reporting the incident around 2:25 p.m.

“Smoke covering both sides of hwy 80,” wrote Coach Alex B. on Twitter.

“I can smell the smoke and hear the sirens near Solano Ave. Hope everyone is safe,” tweeted JenMulholland-Beahrs.


Between the wildland fire in the East Bay hills and a number of structure fires, it has been a busy August for BFD and other local emergency responders.

“It’s only been seven days,” said an incredulous Dong.

Berkeleyside updated this story as new information became available.