Cal Fire says 'there is no longer a wildfire season.' Island fire near Antioch emphasizes that fear

'Wildfires are the new normal and that trend is likely to continue."

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Island fire near Antioch elevates concern for rest of 2022
A rare March fire on Kimball Island near Antioch is increasing concerns of wildfires for the rest of 2022.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- The Rio Vista Fire Department let a fire burning on an island in the Delta Tuesday night burn out. The department says conditions were not ideal to get crews over the island, and no one lives on the island.

"The fuel and the conditions caused the fire to burn fast and hot," said Will Coehlo with Rio Vista Fire. "We have rescue boats, we have a 16-foot rescue boat that doesn't have water pump capabilities."

The fire remained isolated on the island. The smoke did not carry over to nearby neighborhoods, but a fire this early is causing concern about the rest of the year.

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"Cal Fire says there is no longer a wildfire season," Coelho said. "We need to be ready. I know our crews are prepared."

But it is not just fire departments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District says people need to be ready for when smoke skies return.

"We don't know what the air quality will be like in a month or a few months but we do know that wildfires are the new normal and that trend is likely to continue," said Erin Demerritt with BAAQMD.

Both she and Rio Vista Fire say the lack of rain is forcing officials to be on high alert for a potential busy season.

"Prepare now, change air filters and check windows," Demerritt said. "Wildfire smoke can create dense high levels of particle pollution which is extremely detrimental to our health."

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