Hot holiday weekend has families beach bound in North Bay, firefighters on high alert

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, July 2, 2023
Hot holiday weekend has families beach bound, firefighters on alert
The heat is on across the Bay Area with the first major heat spike of the summer.

Cotati, Calif. (KGO) -- The heat is on across the Bay Area with the first major heat spike of the summer. Thousands of people flocked to places seeking shade, refreshment and relief. Officials say fire danger is elevated this holiday weekend because of the scorching temps.

Cal Fire says two buildings on a Cotati ranch off West Sierra Avenue were threatened by a grass fire on Saturday. The structures were saved by fire crews on one of hottest days of the year. The Fire was stopped at one acre.

"It's hot, it's dry, there's a lot of people out. Be careful and mow early," said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Paul Fleckenstein.

Officials say the cause of the fire under is investigation.

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On Friday, fire crews battled flames from the ground and the air, putting out a 24-acre grass fire outside Petaluma Near San Antonio Road. Firefighters say, they're bracing for the heat and ready for fire season.

"We went from a cool period to to warm period, temps are in the 90s to 100s. We're getting crews acclimated, hydrated," said Sonoma County Fire District Battalion Chief Rob Bisordi.

The cool water of the Russian River was too good to pass up on a day when temps were sizzling. Hundreds of families made the trip to Memorial Beach in Healdsburg for some relief.

"This is perfect timing we're getting up near 100. It's exciting for families locally and for the Bay Area," said Victor Alvarez from Santa Rosa.

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This popular swimming spot is reopening for the first time in four years. The pandemic and drought prevented a summertime dam from being built but now it's back, just in time for the holiday weekend.

"It feels nice, I've been waiting forever for the hot weather to come, so it's perfect. Kids love it, look at all of them," said Alicia Holtz from Petaluma.

Park rangers estimate 2,000 people will show up at Memorial Beach on July 4.

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