As North Bay temps spike, firefighters watch weather, others hit the beach

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Friday, May 10, 2024
Firefighters watch weather, others hit beach in North Bay
It felt like summer in the North Bay on Thursday. Hot temperatures sent many people to the water while firefighters were on wildfire watch duty.

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, it felt like summer on Thursday. Hot temperatures and breezy conditions sent many people to the nearest beach. Firefighters say the warm weather could be speeding up the start of wildfire season.

"First hot day of the year, I'm going to get out and enjoy the water," said Carl Schlenker from Petaluma.

Schlenker and his buddies were launching their kayaks into the Russian River in Forestville for some fun in the sun.

"We bring water, snacks, a couple of beers and sunscreen," said Schlenker.

VIDEO: Bay Area residents flock to the coastline to enjoy summerlike weather

The Bay Area was treated with a taste of summer on Thursday as people flocked to the beaches to enjoy the warm weather.

Donna Sheldon and her friends are here too, setting up camp at Steelhead Beach for lunch - they say it's about time things warmed up it's a long, wet winter and spring.

"Nothing against the rain, the rain is great we need it - I was getting tired of the rain and missing the sun, it's nice to be out," said Steven Armstrong.

"We jump in for a little bit to cool off, we float around but we're not being unsafe - it's dangerous a lot of people die out here," said Donna Sheldon.

Burke's Canoe and Kayak rental is getting ready to open on Memorial Day Weekend. Until then, owner Ted Schroeder urges everyone to be safe on the river.

"Everyday we say it until we're blue in the face - wear a life jacket. No matter what activity you're engaged in on the river, wear a life jacket," said Schroeder.

MORE: CAL FIRE trains seasonal firefighting force in North Bay to gear up for 2024 wildfire season

CAL FIRE is ready for prime time fire season, 250 seasonal firefighters are back on duty in the North Bay. While above average rainfall has slowed some hillsides turning from green to brown, a warming trend could speed up the timeline.

"The increase in temperatures in combination with winds can help to dry out our fuel moistures," said Jason Clay from CAL FIRE.

Seasonal firefighting aircraft is back stationed at CAL FIRE Sonoma Air Base in case its needed.

"Getting to these fires quickly, until or forces on the ground can put them out," said Clay.

Back at the beach, Brandon was ready to float. "Today is the first day of summer, first warm day for me - this is the first day of summer," said Brandon Easley.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here