Heat Wave: extreme temps test North Bay residents, firefighters, charity cyclists

ByCornell W. Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, September 4, 2022
Extreme heat tests North Bay residents, firefighters, charity cyclists
This weekend's extreme heat and low humidity tests North Bay residents, firefighters, and cyclists riding for charity.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, the mercury is rising fast. Extreme heat is already testing residents, firefighters and cyclists - some of which braved the weather for charity.

On Saturday, Petaluma Firefighters responded to a fast-moving grass fire at a ranch on Skillman Lane on a day when temperatures were baking.

"We were lucky today, the wind was blowing into the open, it was right behind a house," Dave Cavanaugh said.

Luckily, firefighters contained the fire quickly, which officials say was possibly started by a mower.

RELATED: SF Bay Area heat wave: Here's a timeline of dangerously high temperatures

But weeds and brush are getting dryer by the day. The heat is expected to sizzle this holiday weekend with fire danger going from high to extreme.

Santa Rosa Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal was monitoring the extreme weather, getting fresh data from a new remote weather station now transmitting weather stats in real-time, Saturday afternoon that meant high temperatures and low humidity.

"That's a concern for us. That means there's potential if we do have a fire, it's more likely to spread rapidly with how dry fuels are," Lowenthal said.

It was a tough day for a bike ride but 2,000 riders were up for it.

This was the Tour De Fuzz, a bike ride that benefits the law enforcement chaplaincy services of Sonoma County. This weekend, there was extra ice cold water for riders and some health warnings.

RELATED: Spare the Air Alert extended through Labor Day for Bay Area

"Riding in the heat can be hazardous, so we gave everyone a warning. We also have EMT's on standby, and we advised riders to leave early, wear light clothing," said co-organizer Shaun Ralston.

Some riders rode 50, even 100 miles in the heat for charity.

"We made sure we left early before the heat. It will be pretty toasty," said Dana Jones.

Cooling centers are now open through Labor Day across Sonoma County, including the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa.

Health officials are urging everyone to be safe and stay cool.


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