Red flag fire danger expected in East Bay hills

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The new normal in California is a year around wildfire season. That's why it comes as no surprise to firefighters that the Bay Area is facing a red flag warning.

Jonathan Ryshpan is gardening for pleasure. "The fire related gardening is done when it is supposed to be done, which is before the end of June," he said.

But, in his portion of the Oakland Hills, where thousands of homes burned in the deadly 1991 firestorm, a Red Flag Warning is serious business.

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"I keep an eye on these things and I worry. When it gets windy I worry," Ryshpan said.

His neighbors across the street at Fire House 7 worry too. It's their job, whether they're scouring the Oakland Hills for signs of trouble, or waiting for a 911 call.

Fire Captain Cedric Price told ABC7 News, "We want to stop the fire in the incipient stages when they begin, or prevent them from happening at all."

The lessons learned from recent fires in Shasta and Lake Counties is they are burning hotter, and faster -- making it much more difficult to play catch-up- according to Price: "On a day like this we want to make sure that everybody is being careful with using gas powered tools. If they see something, say something. Give us a call, if yous see any type of smoke or smell any smoke just give us a call."

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We rode along with the firefighters of Station 7 as they checked known trouble spots in the Oakland Hills, and dispensed advice to folks who've made the trade-off -- lovely views in the Hills, with narrow roads and lots of flammable vegetation.

Captain Price gave this advice to one neighbor in the Hills.

"Make sure you have a go kit. You got one? With all your medicine and stuff because you might be displaced for two or three days," he said.

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