Update, 8:15 p.m.: Berkeley police sent out a Nixle alert at 8:10 p.m. saying that roads around the Marina are again open.
The alert read: “The area of McLaughlin Park in the Marina (West Frontage and University to Marina Blvd) is now open to all traffic. East Bay Regional Parks will remain on scene and keep watch.”
Original story, 8 p.m.: Firefighters from Berkeley and the East Bay Regional Park District responded to a two-acre grass fire in the Marina that sent smoke all the way up into the Berkeley Hills.
The fire is under control and firefighters are now mopping up, according to East Bay Regional Park District Fire Chief Aileen Theile. The fire appears likely to have been caused by someone at a homeless encampment, she said.
Berkeley police sent out a Nixle alert at 6:52 p.m. stating: “The Berkeley Fire Department & Police Department are currently working a brush fire in McLaughlin Park (Marina Area). Please avoid West Frontage and University to Marina Blvd until further notice.”
“It looks all good here, not spots,” one firefighter said on the scanner around 6:20 p.m.
The plume of smoke prompted many tweets.
— George Hines (@blohmvos141) July 26, 2021
The fire, however, appears to have pushed smoke up into the Berkeley Hills. Numerous people on Twitter announced they could smell smoke.
Smoke smell is super strong in the hills where I am right in back of campus and everything is turning orange.
— So very tired, so very very tired, all of the time (@fangirlsmash) July 26, 2021
From up the hill at Cesar Chavez Park pic.twitter.com/jhiVKmtWyQ
— 🔥ACAB🔥 (@beckywtheantifa) July 26, 2021
One Berkeley resident, however, said he thought the smoky smell came from a fire in Yountville.
Theile, the EBRPD fire chief, said she thought the Marina fire might have caused the smoky smell as an inversion layer has moved in, trapping the smoke.
Featured file photo: Firefighters at the Berkeley Marina on Aug. 24, 2020. Credit: Christine Schwartz