Fire crews on high alert amid red flag warning

June 10, 2012 7:14:26 PM PDT
A combination of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures have Bay Area fire crews on high alert.

There have already been several wildfires that have sparked this weekend, prompting quick responses from fire crews, and a red flag warning has been extended until Monday morning.

On Sunday, besides responding to rescue calls on Mount Tamalpais, Marin County fire crews also took preventive fire measures with residents.

Firefighters went house-to-house to remind residents to keep their properties maintained as fire season begins.

"The fire chief came by our neighbor's house and looked at our lot and suggested that we clear it, and we did," resident Peter Lea said.

Throughout Mount Tam, homeowners have trimmed and pruned to make sure they're ready for a fire season that seems to have started early.

With a red flag warning in effect, fire crews have been on a heightened state of alert, and it's turned out to be a busy weekend throughout the Bay Area.

In San Jose, two grassfires burned Saturday. One just off the Guadalupe Parkway was the most noticeable. Wind-whipped flames burned through eight acres, but it was contained within a few hours and no homes or businesses were affected there.

On Friday, fire crews battled a blaze in the Oakland Hills. Three homes were evacuated as a precaution because flames came within inches of those structures. The fire was sparked when a driver slammed into a power pole. Sparks from the power lines set the initial fire, which was then quickly boosted up the hills by winds.

It's those winds that have fire crews throughout the Bay Area on alert.

"Today is a red flag day. We do have a little breeze here, and it's been hot all day. Vegetation's dry so we're here, ready, prepared in case something happens," said Marin County Fire Captain Joe Gallardo.

Along with the fires in San Jose and Oakland, there have also been grass fires near Pittsburg and near Liberty Farms in Solano County.

A lot of the fires have been contained quickly in part because during a red flag warning, fire departments send out plenty of resources so they can quickly get those fires under control.


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