A Level 3 "Shelter In Place" was issued for the Bay area communities of Richmond, San Pablo, and Point Richmond. The Emergency Broadcasting System was activated at about 6:48PM PST when a major fire broke out at the Chevron Oil Refinery. The reverse 911 system has been activated. Residents were told to close their doors and windows and stay inside, place wet towels at the base of the door. A Level 3 warning means breathing problems, irritated eyes and and skin can occur. The skies over the Bay filled with dense black smoke which blocked at the sun. A flare stack is burning off excess gas, while there is a major fire burning close by in another location. Sirens from the refinery have been going off and on for over a half hour.
This refinery processes 240,000 barrels of crude into gasoline and jet fuel a day. As of 8:06PM PST the fire was still burning but was much more under control. Many residents of this area are complaining of irritated eyes and breathing difficulties. There is a good breeze blowing which is helping to dissipate the smoke. Without it this could have been a major health nightmare. This refinery employs 1200 people. Gas prices are expected to increase because of the fire. Gasoline is expected to reach $5 a gallon in California by Labor Day.