Fire burns two homes in Oakland hills

News // California Wildfires

Photo of Amy Graff

LATEST Oct. 27, 11 a.m. Just before 11 a.m. firefighters continued to work a fire in the Oakland hills involving two residences and nearby vegetation, officials said.

The Oakland Fire Department is asking people to avoid the area of Merriewood Drive and Crown Avenue.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to a two-alarm fire involving two structures at Merriewood Drive and Crown Avenue on Oct. 27, 2020.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to a two-alarm fire involving two structures at Merriewood Drive and Crown Avenue on Oct. 27, 2020.

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Oct. 27, 10:30 a.m.

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Oakland weighs banning homeless camps near homes, businesses, schools

As Oakland grapples with the worst homeless crisis in its history, elected officials could restrict the unsheltered from sleeping in parks, and near homes, businesses and schools.

The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on the new policy, which will designate where people can set up encampments. The city would provide garbage service and sanitation and require makeshift structures to comply with fire and building codes.

City leaders said the new policy is a more humane approach to dealing with the unfolding crisis on Oakland’s streets because city support at the encampments means people won’t live in squalor. More than 3,200 people are unsheltered out of a total homeless population of more than 4,000.

The policy comes as residents and businesses have complained about the blight and public safety issues from encampments. Residents have protested drug dealing, fires and prostitution at tent clusters in their neighborhoods. Businesses say that

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