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Gusty Winds, Dry Conditions Spark Bay Area Red Flag Warning

By Kris Sanchez
|  Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014  |  Updated 2:10 PM PDT
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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the entire Bay Area, an unprecedented move in January. Kris Sanchez reports.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the entire Bay Area, an unprecedented move in January. Kris Sanchez reports.

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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Bay Area, an unprecedented move in January.

No rain is projected for at least two weeks and the region, featuring fuels as dry as they are in the summer, is in the peak of the fire season.

In addition, gusty winds and low humidity will create the perfect conditions for extreme fire danger, officials said.

"I've been doing this for 17 years and I've never seen a Red Flag Warning for Northern California in January," said Calfire Morgan Hill Battalion Chief Tom Lubas.

Lubas and his crew spent 14 hours fighting the wildfire that burned 40 acres on Mt. Hamilton on New Year's Eve. He said if something similar sparks under the current conditions, it's going to be a nightmare due to low staffing.

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Calfire lowers staffing in mid-November for the winter. Calfire Morgan Hill, for example, reduces staff from 15 fire engines to just a pair.

Adding to the worry: Three southern California counties are also under Red Flag Warnings through at least Wednesday.

"Have the mindset that it's still fire season," Lubas said. "It's still fire season, it's still here. We haven't gotten enough rain to mitigate anything."

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