Carr Fire in Redding prompts concern for East Bay officials

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"We're scared," says Fire Marshal Robert Marshall with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. "We look at the type of terrain in the Redding area and the type of vegetation and we know we have that here in Lafayette and Walnut Creek," he said. (KGO-TV)

Could the kind of wildfires we're seeing now in Northern California happen here with such ferocity? We connected with fire experts in the East Bay to find out about this year's fire season and the similarities between the terrain in Redding and Shasta County compared with the terrain here in the Bay Area.

"We're scared," says Fire Marshal Robert Marshall with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. "We look at the type of terrain in the Redding area and the type of vegetation and we know we have that here in Lafayette and Walnut Creek," he said.

In the East Bay and on the Peninsula, urban areas interface with wild land. On the backside of Mount Diablo in the Marsh Creek area last week there was a warning - a big fire that was tamped down but was dangerously close to housing developments.

Former president of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District Kevin Romick said, "There's so much deadwood and fuel for any fire up and down the state, I'm surprised the whole state doesn't burn at times because of the fuel load that's out there."

MAPS: Wildfires burning across California

The drought killed millions of trees across the state and in the Bay Area.

Battalion Chief Ross Macumber with the East Contra Costa County fire protection district added "With the 2016 rains and storms that came through and all the vegetation that grew now it's dead again. It just compounded the issue. We just have a massive fuel load here in the foothills. "

Right now the fire experts say there's not much that will dramatically reduce the risk. Perhaps more vegetation control house by house, street by street. But control burns are out of the question.

RELATED: The latest evacuation orders for Shasta County's Carr Fire, Mendocino County's Complex Fire

Marshall said, "Control burns are particularly tough in urban areas like this. A control burn is still a fire and you can have a house go up. So control burns aren't the answer in a place like this."

Romick suggested coming up with a solution as a state. "Doing control burns this late in the year might not be the solution but we might need to look at it over the winter."

The experts say there is no clear cut easy answer. Every year they said the fire danger gets a little worse. Now they say it's suddenly a lot worse. And they are all hoping the rainy season comes early this year to provide relief.

Get the latest on the Carr Fire here, the Complex Fire here and the latest on wildfires across California here.

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