Published Oct 19, 2018 at 8:39 AM | Updated at 10:16 AM PDT on Oct 19, 2018
On Oct. 19, 1991, a small brush fire in the hills above Oakland that appeared to be under control turned into one of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in California history just hours later.
Also called the Tunnel fire and East Bay Hills fire, the Oakland Hills firestorm scorched hillsides in northern Oakland and southeastern Berkeley during an October weekend of extremely high fire danger -- strong winds and low humidity during one of California's dry spells. The fire rekindled from an earlier small grass fire and burned 1,600 acres. But its size on tells part of the story -- it was located in a densely populated area with trees that were highly flammable, houses and other buildings in its path.
Fanned by powerful wind gusts, the grass fire flare-up grew into a wall of fire that left some residents trapped in an inferno that resulted in 25 deaths. Nearly 3,000 structures were destroyed.