LIVERMORE -- A fast-moving brush fire fueled by high winds swept through a rural part of Alameda County Friday morning burning nearly 150 acres before it fizzled out on a day that kept firefighters all over the greater Bay Area scrambling.
The morning fire in northeast Livermore, called the Highland Fire, broke out just before 7:30 a.m. north of Interstate 580, Alameda County Fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.
Initially firefighters from six agencies were battling about 60 acres that went up in flames but because of the high winds, the blaze nearly tripled in size to 150 acres, Knowles said.
But by 9:50 a.m. the fire faded out in a recently plowed field and was considered contained, fire officials said. By 11 a.m., officials were checking for hot spots.
Dry conditions and high winds expected to hit up to 50 mph triggered a Red Flag warning Friday for elevations about 1,000 feet in the northeast Bay Area.
The warning was expected to remain in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday.
"Red Flag days are not the time to start mowing grass or any dry vegetation because you can cause a spark," said Cal Fire spokesman Robert Chew, standing at the smoky scene of the Livermore fire. He noted that sustained winds reached 22 mph in the Livermore area with gusts up to 28 mph.
Fire teams used eight engines, two bulldozers and one helicopter to nix the flames.
"This fire would have been all the way to (Interstate) 580 had it not run into a plowed field," said Mike Martin, a Cal Fire battalion chief. "It could have easily been 1,000 acres (given the weather conditions)," he said. "In this wind, it's all luck."
No injuries were reported and no homes or structures were affected.
The blaze came on the heels of another vegetation fire that broke out overnight in Contra Costa County on the Tesoro Refinery property in Martinez.
That fire was reported just before 12:45 a.m. in a marsh area on Solano Way north of Highway 4, said Ken Dami, Tesoro's manager of government and public affairs. Smoke and flames could be seen in a wide area.
The fire broke out on the north east end of the refinery and was not near any refinery structures or equipment.
The blaze was under control at 1:07 a.m., Dami said.
Contra Costa County firefighters cleared that scene about 1:54 a.m. and Tesoro took watch over the blaze until it burned out, Dami said.
The fire was completely out at 7:35 a.m., he said, and the cause of that fire remained under investigation Friday.
On Friday afternoon, another brush fire broke out in Solano County in Suisun.
That fire near Highway 12 and Scally Road spanned 200-acres, fire officials said. The smell of smoke reached as far as Oakland.
Because of heavy smoke from that fire and the Livermore blaze, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Friday afternoon put out a Bay Area-wide health advisory.
Spokeswoman Lisa Fasano said that while smoke particulate levels did not exceed standards, the agency was warning people to try to stay upwind of smoke, close windows and doors and keep air conditioners on recirculate.
The smoke, she said appears to be staying low to the ground and "funneling" into the Bay Area.
On Thursday night, firefighters tackled yet another 200-acre fire near Lake Berryessa in Napa County. The Putah Fire, as it was named, burned in a rural area near Berryessa Knoxville Road on the north side of the lake. No injuries were reported.
As of Friday morning, the fire had burned 376 acres and was 75 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
As a result of the high fire danger, football fans attending Saturday's UC Berkeley game against Washington State are being asked to limit use of barbecue grills and cooking stoves during tailgating activities, according to a statement released from the school.
The restrictions in place for this weekend include:
* No cooking on Tightwad Hill or at the Centennial, Strawberry Canyon or Coffer Dam parking lots.
* No cooking within 20 feet of vegetation or a tree canopy at the Bowles, Foothill, Botanical Garden, Lawrence Hall of Science, Hill Terrace, Space Science or Mathematics Science Research Institute parking lots
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.