Five-alarm wildfire in Berkeley/Oakland hills

(Photo courtesy of KTVU)

Some 150 firefighters from around the area are fighting a wildfire that ignited in the Berkeley/Oakland hills this afternoon at around 1 p.m.

While the campus proper is not threatened, employees in several campus buildings close to the fire – the Lawrence Hall of Science, Space Sciences Laboratory and Mathematical Sciences Research Institute – were encouraged to leave for the day at about 3 p.m. The UC Botanical Garden was closed to visitors at around 2:30 p.m.

Those leaving campus should avoid Centennial Drive and other roads leading into the hills, since Centennial and Grizzly Peak Boulevard between Centennial Drive and South Park Drive are closed.

The cause of the fire is unknown. Firefighters currently on the line are from the Oakland, Berkeley, East Bay Regional Parks and Moraga/Orinda fire departments, as well as CalFire.

See Berkeleyside for updates