As Heat Comes in, Firefighters Prep for Possibility of Early Fire Season

Firefighters are concerned it will be a long fire season, likely ending around November like 2019.

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Firefighters across the Bay Area are getting ready for what they believe will be an early wildfire season and urge those who are sheltering at home to take some time to protect their properties. 

It’s only the first week of May and crews are already responding to grass and brush fires across the Bay Area. 

In Oakland Wednesday, crews quickly contained a 2-alarm fire near Howard Elementary School. No property was damaged and no injuries were reported but it was one of many across the region. 

“We’re probably looking at declaring the start of fire season sometime in the next week or two. We’re having vegetation fires every day,” said Steve Hill from the Contra Costa Fire Department.

He said some residents have been using their time during the shelter-at-home orders wisely.

“People are telling us that they do have time at home now, they have more time to address their weed abatement, defensible space creation responsibilities,” Hill said.

Cal Fire already launched a public service campaign encouraging residents to be proactive about protecting their homes. 

It says to clear away dead trees, brush and vegetation within 100 feet of your home to slow or stop the spread of a wildfire.

PG&E is also getting ready. They’re hardening their grid and modifying potential public safety power shutoffs. 

“We’re making future PSPS events smaller in size, shorter in duration and smarter for our customers,” said PG&E Senior Manager Joe Horak.

We may have an early fire season and firefighters are concerned it will also be a long season, likely ending around November like 2019.

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