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Umpteenth Fire At Oakland’s Wood Street Encampment Shuts Down Part of MacArthur Maze

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Umpteenth Fire At Oakland's Wood Street Encampment Shuts Down Part of MacArthur Maze

Another fire — at least the fourth in the last several months — has broken out at the Wood Street encampment in West Oakland, involving multiple RVs.

The two-alarm fire broke out Monday morning around 10:30 a.m. near 34th and Wood streets, in part of the sprawling encampment that has existed in West Oakland for years now. The Oakland Fire Department posted a video from the scene showing smoke billowing out from an RV or multiple RVs.

The report said that a “possible train trestle,” “multiple cars,” debris, and “multiple RVs” were involved in the blaze. Another image tweeted by a nearby resident shows a huge black plume of smoke rising.

Like a previous fire at the encampment in March, this one is burning close to a freeway, beneath overpasses in the MacArthur Maze. Update: Parts of the freeways that pass above the fire have been temporarily closed, including westbound  Interstate 80 to southbound 880 and the transition lanes to Interstate 580 in the Maze.

There have been no reports of injuries so far.

The encampment along Wood Street, spanning about 25 city blocks, has been the sight of dozens of fires — reportedly over 90 in the 12 months that ended in March, and several that have received news coverage just since then. In one RV fire in March, two dogs were killed, and in another fire in April, one person became trapped in an RV and died.

Governor Gavin Newsom toured the encampment in early May, and the state pledged $4.7 million in grant money to try a new “community cabin” model for housing at the site. The funding, however, was only enough to house about 50 people, and estimates put the population at the encampment at around 300.

Update 2: As of 2:15 p.m., the blaze was fully contained and all freeway lanes are back open.

Previously: Another Person Has Died In an Encampment Fire, This Time In West Oakland

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