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Oakland marks 20th anniversary of deadly firestorm

October 20, 2011 |  8:13 am

Oakland Hills fire 1991
Thursday marks the 20-year anniversary of the Oakland Hills firestorm, one of the worst urban fires in the nation's history.

The 1,520-acre blaze killed 25 people, injured 150 and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. 

A series of commemorative exhibits and events were planned to mark the anniversary in Oakland and Berkeley.

Since the fire, state and local officials have introduced new regulations on vegetation and fire-resistant building materials and emergency preparedness.

On the anniversary of the blaze, officials reminded urban residents to prepare for a fire by creating defensible space around homes, cutting back tree branches and cleaning gutters.

They also should keep fire alarms and extinguishers operational and have family evacuation drills, officials said.


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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: A burned-out car sits in front of a home destroyed by fire in the Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland in 1991. Credit: Nick Lammers / Oakland Tribune