Firefighters Rescue Man Stuck Knee-Deep in Mud in Oakland Hills

A man checking out an East Bay mudslide needed to be rescued after he got stuck in it.

Firefighters rescued the man Tuesday afternoon in the Oakland Hills.

"We found an individual that was actually stuck in the mud about knee-deep, maybe 80 feet over the side," Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Coy Justice said.

The man was mapping the erosion in the area, which is part of an effort to see what might be done to shore up the hillside. Officials said the man's feet got stuck in the grip of clay soil -- something Justice has never seen during his 26 years serving with the Oakland Fire Department.

It took 15 minutes for crews to free the man, who was not injured, according to Justice.

Fire crews responded to the same area early Friday when the hill gave way.

Kevin Best, who owns the hill that gave way and lives in the house next to it, has been consulting geologists. He is surprised at what he has learned so far.

"The water's coming out of the hillside from somewhere, we don't know where," Best said. "We're kind of thinking now that it is not necessarily El Niño from all of the rain."

The city tells Best it is not their responsibility and his insurance company said it does not cover landslides.

"I feel like right now I'm on an island and my house is sitting on it," Best said. "And there's nothing around me."

Best said he has hired a top flight geologist to advise him. The first order of business? Coming up with a short-term solution until the rain has stopped.

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