Oakland Fire Chief says fighting fires at encampments is a challenge
Last week, a propane fire roared through an encampment of unhoused residents on Oakland's West Side/ at 34th and Wood Streets. According to the Oakland Fire Department, firefighters have responded to the to the same site at least 90 times between March of 2021 and this past March. Caltrans and the city of Oakland were planning to clear out the encampment and evict the residents, but a restraining order was issued to block them. Which means the fire remains a recurring threat to the wood street encampment and others elsewhere.
KALWs Sunni Khalid recently spoke with Oakland Fire Department Chief Reginald Freeman who has held the job for more than a year. They talked about last week's blaze, and about the challenges facing both the unhoused and firefighters in dealing with the ever-present threat of fire.