Bay Area Firefighters On High Alert With Hot Temperatures, Dry Conditions

MARIN COUNTY (KCBS) – Scorching temperatures throughout the Bay Area are making the already dry conditions even more dangerous, as fire crews remain on high alert.

On Thursday, grass fires could be seen across the Bay Area, from Napa to Sonoma and in Pittsburg.

Novato Deputy Fire Chief Adam Brolan said the recent heat wave isn’t just causing an immediate threat.

“With the heat, what’s happening is we’re losing moisture in the fuels, rapidly,” Brolan said. “It is not even so much as the heat. It’s the wind that is accompanying the heat. That dries out the fuels as it blows along and basically sucks the moisture out. It is speeding up the fire season and what you see as green today is actually starting to brown up.”

Brolan said he has never seen drought conditions like the current situation.

“It has really extended the fire season. People always say, is the fire season going to be bad? You never know, it depends on how it starts,” he said. “But what we do know is the fire season is longer.”

Cal Fire has banned open residential fires in several Bay Area counties and has ramped up its seasonal firefighting staff ahead of schedule.

“Even though we’re just here on the first day of May, we are well into an increase in fire risk,” said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Daniel Berlant. “What we would normally be experiencing in the summer months.”

Cal Fire continues to ask homeowners to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining 100 feet of defensible space around their homes.

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