Oakland Hills Fire: 20 Years Later
On October 19, 1991, the tiny flame that would become the Oakland hills fire was ignited. The ensuring wildfire, which lasted for several days, took 25 lives, consumed over a thousand acres land, and destroyed more than 3,500 homes. On the 20th anniversary of the fire, Oakland North takes a look at some of the changes the city has implemented to try to prepare for the next big wildfire—as well as what still needs to improve.
The firefighters put on their headphones, fastened their seatbelts, turned on their lights and sirens, and peeled out of the garage towards the narrow, steep road. With notepads and video cameras in tow, reporters were getting a feel for what it was like to ride in a fire truck during the massive fire that devastated the Oakland Hills 20 years ago.
The Oakland History Room’s exhibit will display items related to the fire on the second floor of Oakland’s Main Library from September 1 to November 30. The exhibit includes aerial maps of Oakland before and after the fire and public records related to the firestorm.