Bay Area heat wave continues to pose fire danger


Dry, crispy grass and record heat and it is only the first day of May. Antioch residents were surprised to wake up and see a charred hillside across from their homes. It lit up around 12:30 this morning on James Donlon Boulevard near Pintail Drive.

"I am worried because I'm living here with my family, I hope everything goes well," said Antioch resident Fred Arian.

Arian can't believe this grass fire happened so early in the season and is bracing for a rough summer. He is trying to keep the lawn moist, but also conserve water which he knows is scarce. The lawn also comes to an abrupt end toward the house.

"I took everything out. I don't want anything close to the house," said Arian.

Officials say dry brush is still rare; because of recent rains we are still enjoying green hillsides, but not much longer.

"Those areas are largely isolated in our jurisdiction at this time of year, but in a couple more weeks, there is going to be a lot be more hillside that has that condition. And it is going to be that much more problematic," said Contra Costa County Fire District Capt. George Laing.

CAL FIRE has already added extra crews, four to six weeks ahead of schedule in some parts of Northern California.

"We look forward to a fire season that is coming maybe a little bit earlier than it normally would in the state of California," said Laing.

Fires are not the only focus for officials. The city of Benicia is warning residents to watch their dogs. Police say they will look for pets left unattended in cars and will cite the owners.

"You leave a crack they will not survive. If we can't, why would we think a dog could? They need to crackdown on taking care of animals.," said Gail Thurin, dog owner.

Dog owners who leave their pets unattended in cars could be fined up to $500.

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