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FEMA report on the 1991 East Bay Hills fire

firestorm began in dry grass and then dry brush

doc-titleThe East Bay Hills Fire
quoteAt 1040 hours, Oakland Fire Communications transmitted a first alarm for a reported grass fire on Campus Drive, in the hills approximately five miles south of Temescal Canyon. ... Very suddenly, the fire flared up in an unburned area on the lower east flank of the burn area. Burning embers had been carried from one of the hot spots into a patch of timber dry brush. ... The sudden eruption occurred when a firefighter was digging out a hotspot, near the perimeter, and sparks were carried into an area of dry brush, which virtually exploded into flames. ... The ignitable fuels included trees, brush, grass, and other natural fuels, as well as wood roofs, debris in rain gutters, and other combustibles around structures.
sourceFEMA's 1991 report on the Oakland firestorm