Will Wright’s home was one of the first to burn in the Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm. His quick thinking in fleeing without delay probably saved his life, and that of his first wife and immediate neighbors whom he took with him. The experience also had another consequence: It inspired him to create what became the best-selling personal computer game in history.
In October 1991, Debra Pryor was a newly promoted Lieutenant in the Berkeley Fire Department. She spent the morning of October 20 in the South Bay with her mother, but when she returned to Berkeley, she picked up an assignment to relieve a fire crew in Roble Road that had been struggling with the firestorm.
Berkeleyside invited readers to submit their stories about the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm. Here we publish the first of three selections.
October 23, 1991: At the foot of Broadway Terrace, I squeezed into a police car with another couple. We rode in silence, afraid and anxious to get close enough to see what remained of our homes and our streets. We weren’t allowed to drive ourselves in yet; hazardous sparks and hot spots still glowed in some places. Fallen power lines might still be live. Some reports said that everything that could have burned, did. Still, I didn’t know quite what to expect.
Some locals are fine with the 8-story apartment building proposed for a vacant lot on San Pablo. Others cite spoilt views and increased traffic congestion as objections.
A group of women who have kept alive a 100-year old Berkeley community organization this week marked its centennial with a gala in the neighborhood where they all live.
Vote-by-mail ballots are coming and the November 2016 election is right around the corner. This page will be updated regularly until Election Day, so bookmark it and keep coming back.
Not surprisingly, given that we are counting down to an election — and one sporting a monster ballot in Berkeley — the pace of op-ed submissions to Berkeleyside has picked up considerably.
By Gretchen Kell / Berkeley News
This week, Berkeley police and firefighters will be making the rounds in some North Berkeley neighborhoods as they practice skills related to urban wildfire response.
At least five fire companies responded to a vegetation fire that broke out before sunrise in the Berkeley-Oakland hills Sunday.
An estimated 50-75 people took part in a staged protest today at a eucalyptus grove on the UC Berkeley campus, many of them stripping naked in doing so, to make clear their opposition to a proposed FEMA-funded tree-clearing program in the East Bay hills.