ANTIOCH (CBS SF) -- A 500-acre wildfire burning in the Contra Loma Regional Park area of Antioch Wednesday afternoon forced the mandatory evacuations of dozens of homes, as fire crews battled intense heat and 20 mph winds whipping over the drought-parched grassland.
At least 100 homes were evacuated, including houses along Grimsby Drive, fire inspector Steve Aubert said. An evacuation center was established at Mira Vista Hills Park in the same neighborhood where the Red Cross was offering assistance.
A resident named Alex told KPIX 5, "There's the flames behind us and I'm freaking out, I don't know what to do, and I have to go," as she raced to her car.
"Me and my whole family out swimming and seen all this. We come back here and we got to evacuate everything in the house. It's kind of scary," nearby homeowner Greg said.
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The acreage doubled in just a matter of hours Wednesday evening. The fire was 80 percent contained as of 8:30 p.m., with flames racing to within 300 feet of homes.
"My wife is very, very nervous about it. We had to get our kids out of the house immediately," Greg said.
Homes are also threatened in the area of Frederickson Lane and firefighters are posted there to protect the structures but so far no evacuations have been ordered in that area, Aubert said.
Neighbors around the bay are posting photos of the smoke plume, visible all the way from San Francisco.
The fire was reported at 4:04 p.m., according to a county fire dispatcher, and has not been contained. Firefighters with the county, Cal Fire and East Bay Regional Parks are all working to put it out, Aubert said.
Water-dropping helicopters are battling the flames from the air, and crews are summoning more bulldozer crews to fight the flames on the ground.
No injuries were reported, and the fire was fully contained by 10:00 p.m.
The weather is forecast to worsen by Thursday, with 100-degree plus temperatures, and gusty afternoon winds again.
In Southern California, a hobby drone forced Cal Fire to ground its firefighting aircraft.
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