fire danger

Firefighters Concerned About Fire Danger in East Bay Hills

Firefighters say the expected wind gusts and extremely dry conditions are conditions they don't usually see until late June or July

NBC Universal, Inc.

Bay Area firefighters are concerned the red flag warning making its way into the region so early in the season may pose significant danger for one are in specific - the East Bay hills.

The winds are a major concerns in areas with grassy hillsides that can begin burning with just a single spark from a mower or tail pipe.

Firefighters say the expected wind gusts and extremely dry conditions are conditions they don't usually see until late June or July.

With that in mind, Con Fire is bracing for more red flag conditions early in May, something not even veteran firefighters have seen.

"This is a first for me. In talking to people in our organization, this is usually when we’re just starting to put the notices out to start abatement," said Contra Costa County Fire District Fire Marshall Chris Bachman.

Contra Costa County residents are paying close attention to the conditions as well.

"We’re very concerned," said Amir Bahman, "and also where we’re at, with the narrow roads, it’s kind of hard to, you know, maneuver around.”

Fire officials started warning homeowners early in response to predictions that fire conditions might just be this dangerous in May.

"It’s dry all over the place," said El Sobrante resident Mohammed Alim Ali. "Unfortunately, it’s dry, and you have to be very careful even around your house."

Fire districts across the Bay Area advise if residents haven't cut the grass, don't do it now. It's too dry and windy.

"All it takes is to hit a rock, and a spark occurs and a fire is going to start by trying to do a good effort," Fire Marshall Bachman said.

Con Fire has extra engines and personnel in place for what could be another busy 24 hours, and is even adding an additional dispatcher in case call loads get heavy.

Contact Us