SANTA ROSA (KPIX) — Fire departments throughout the Bay Area report an increase in fire activity but, so far this season, we haven’t seen a wildfire explode out of control. Still, as temperatures again soar, so does the risk.
In the North Bay, fire departments have battled devastating fires year after year.READ MORE: PG&E to Face Criminal Charges Over Deadly Zogg Fire in Shasta County
Firefighters, though, say they have learned from those deadly blazes that have burned thousands of homes.
From the Tubbs Fire in 2017 to the Glass Fire just last year, millions of acres of land have burned in California.
In Santa Rosa, many residents have their own fire story to tell and are always prepared.
“You can’t get fully unpacked. It’s nerve-racking. You always have to be ready,” Hannah Sinclair said.
“I live always ready,” Hannah’s mother Connie Sinclair added. “I keep several shelves right by the front door with stuff that has to go in a fire.”
After each fire, agencies from Cal Fire to the Santa Rosa fire separtment have collaborated to find better ways to fight them.READ MORE: U.S. Men’s Soccer Asks Appeals Court to Reinstate Women's Wage Suit
Assistant fire marshal Paul Lowenthal says the way they respond to fires has significantly changed.
“Northern California has been rocked by several back-to-back, devastating fires seasons but, from those lessons that were learned, a lot of changes have come,” Lowenthal said.
More resources are sent to each fire — not only crews on the ground but also attacks from the air. Lowenthal explained that technology has made a huge difference to get to fires while they remain manageable.
“We now have wildfire cameras, we have artificial intelligence that is actually monitoring the cameras and, when it sees the smoke, we now have the information much earlier than we could’ve and we now start moving resources to the direction of the fire,” Lowenthal said.
The hope is that, with community help, this will be the year the North Bay gets some relief from the tragic wildfires that have destroyed neighborhoods and changed so many lives.
“I know many people that have lost everything so it makes for a strained, stressed community,” Connie Sinclair said.MORE NEWS: Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash In Hayward Temporarily Shuts Southbound I-880 Lanes At Highway 92
If you look around the North Bay, there are acres of burn-scars. While it may look like there is not a lot of fuel to burn, Lowenthal says the regrowth of invasive plants and weeds makes conditions worse than those of 2017.