The Basin Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains and a red flag warning in Solano County are elevating concerns about fire risks in the South Bay.
For residents of Morgan Hill, the combination is so concerning that they are taking steps now to prepare for a possibly severe fire season.
Living near the mountains and wide-open fields is part of Morgan Hill’s charm. But this year, Eugene Zelditch says that same landscape has him worried about the fire risk.
“It’s definitely a big concern with the hills so dry and the dry vegetation nearby. The conditions are very dangerous,” he said.
California is already looking at an early fire season. The latest numbers show Cal Fire has responded to 1,546 fires so far this year. That’s an increase from the 800 fires they responded for in the same period last year.
“I do have concerns about fire season this year because last year was so tumultuous. I really hope California residents will be prepared,” said Diego Fugazzi of Gilroy.
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced state lawmakers would allocate $536 million to hire more firefighters, improve forest management efforts and thin out fire fueling vegetation.
Homeowners like Zelditch say they plan to do their part as well.
“The trees that are dry,” he said. “I had a specialist trim them so nothing is hitting our roof and we cleaned out the gutter too.”
With tinder dry conditions and plenty of fuels, there is a new sense of urgency to prepare for fires.
“We have two bags in case fire spreads to our home,” Fugazzi said.