With hot weather and high winds expected this weekend, firefighters are on high alert.
According to Cal Fire, brush and grass in the Bay Area is as dry as it usually is in July or August, thanks to heat spikes earlier in the season. Combined with the fireworks residents around the region have been hearing for the past few weeks, the danger for fire is high.
As Cal Fire reaches peak staffing, the Santa Clara station in Morgan Hill has 16 engines with crews ready to go. Assistant Chief George Huang said they are keeping a close eye on the weather and urging people to stay away from fireworks.
“Even safe and sane fireworks can cause fires, so you just have to be careful,” Huang said. “We have dry grass, we have fuels, we have homes all throughout the county. The fuels are brown, the grass is dried out, so any type of fireworks, even safe and sane, will cause a major fire.”
In addition to staying away from fireworks, Cal Fire reminds residents not to throw cigarette butts out the windows of vehicles, to avoid campfires and to create a 100-foot defensible space around homes. The agency also reminds people to do yard work in the morning hours when temperatures are lower and humidity is higher.
With the July 4 holiday approaching, fireworks, sparklers and campfires may be tempting – but simply finding another way to celebrate could save lives.
To learn more about fire fuels, check out meteorologist Rob Mayeda’s field trip to Los Gatos.