Corral blaze blackens Tracy landscape

Fire crews on Friday night continued to battle a brush fire that had burned about 15,000 acres south of Tracy, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The Corral fire in San Joaquin County was about three times the size of the Santa Cruz County wildfire, which had burned about 6½ square miles and was threatening more than 250 homes Friday night.

Cal Fire officials said the Lockheed fire was in a more densely populated area with more homes, while the Corral fire was burning mostly rangeland and threatening electrical power lines.

The Corral fire had threatened one structure Thursday night, Cal Fire officials said, but no structures had been damaged as of 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Fire crews had contained about 20 percent of the blaze, and no injuries were reported, said Pam Rhoten, a Cal Fire spokeswoman.

About 330 people were tackling the blaze, and the cost of fighting it was estimated at about $500,000.

On the ground, six fire crews, 10 bulldozers and 41 engines were working to encircle the blaze, which started Thursday afternoon.

Eight air tankers and five helicopters have dumped fire retardant on the flames. Southeasterly canyon winds were pushing the fire, but the wind was shifting northward Friday night.

Temperatures were expected to increase and the humidity to drop over the weekend, which could result in increased fire activity, according to Cal Fire.

Although the fire was burning near Interstate 580 and moving toward the junction with I-5, Rhoten said there were no reports of road closures.

She said the oval-shaped fire could grow as large as 25,000 acres before Monday, when firefighters expect to have full containment of the blaze.

Besides Cal Fire, crews from San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Alameda and Contra Costa counties were involved in fighting the fire.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.

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