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Corral Fire: Firefighters Massively Contain WildFire Near Tracy – Video. Alabama County Controlled Burning Suspected As Probable Cause

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Firefighting crews were able to make significant headway Sunday in their battle against the Corral Fire that has scorched thousands of acres and forced evacuations in the Tracy area. As of Sunday evening, the blaze had burned 14,168 acres but containment increased to 50% according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The wind-whipped wildfire erupted Saturday afternoon in the grassy hills near Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. While the lab itself was never threatened, the rapidly spreading flames prompted evacuation orders for parts of Tracy and surrounding areas on Saturday.

Watch footage from the aftermath of the massive wildfire below:

One home was destroyed by the fire, but firefighters worked through the weekend to protect other residences in the fire’s path. Two firefighters suffered burn injuries on Saturday but are expected to recover.

With winds calming on Sunday, they’ve managed to strengthen containment lines and prevent further spread of the Corral Fire. Evacuation orders were downgraded to warnings by Sunday night, allowing some 200 families to return home while remaining vigilant.

“We had an extremely wet couple of years, which allowed the grass to grow in really tall, really thick. We call it a light, flashy fuel because it is so fine. It’s very receptive to the fire,” said CalFire Battalion Chief Josh Silveira. “If you couple that with the very strong winds and the topography that we’re in, it basically acts like a giant wind tunnel. And it pushed that fire very, very quickly.”

The crews will still be keeping a wary eye on the wildfire’s footprint as a heat wave settles over the region later this week. Dangerously hot temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit are forecast, which could cause any remaining hot spots to flare up.

The cause of the Corral Fire remains under investigation by CalFire. While the blaze moved close to the Lawrence Livermore lab, operators said it posed no threat to facilities and that the emergency operations center was activated as a precaution.

According to KTVU, the laboratory officials made a statement on Saturday saying:

“There are no current threats to any laboratory facilities and operations as the fire has moved away from the site. There was no on or offsite contamination. As a precaution, LLNL has activated their emergency operations center to monitor the situation through the weekend. More information will be provided as it becomes available.”

For residents like the Curtiss family who lost their home, the damage was severe but they were relieved to make it out safely along with their pets. The community will now turn to lending support as the long recovery process begins.

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