CAL FIRE adds extra crews ahead of Bay Area Red Flag Warning, dry lightning threat

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Monday, July 19, 2021
Red Flag Warning issued for parts of Bay Area starting Sunday
A Red Flag Warning has been issued for parts of the Bay Area this weekend due to threat of dry lightning.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Red Flag Warning has been issued for parts of the Bay Area this weekend due to threat of dry lightning.

The following areas are under the warning from 5 p.m. Sunday to 5 p.m. Monday: North Bay Mountains, East Bay hills, Diablo Range and Santa Cruz Mountains.

The areas of Santa Lucia Mountains, Mountains of San Benito County are under the warning from 11 a.m. Sunday to 5 p.m. Monday

The National Weather Service warns dry thunderstorms and gusty outflow winds could spark wildfires that could spread rapidly.

On Thursday the National Weather Service warned the region of possible thunderstorms that could bring chances of dry lightning into the area.

As mid-level moisture makes its way across the Central Coast and Bay Area, upper-level disturbance from British Columbia will cause a lobe of energy to hit the region from the northwest, the weather service said Thursday. This might bring thunderstorms and chances of dry lightning.

RELATED: Track wildfires across San Francisco Bay Area, other parts of California with this interactive map

The chances of dry lightning are low, but it can be a concern for starting wildfires if it strikes near dry brush throughout the region.

The weather service does not anticipate that the conditions will bring about a fire similar to the Lightning Complex fires that struck the Bay Area in August 2020.

Those fires burned hundreds of thousands of acres, destroying homes and killing at least six people.

CAL FIRE said Sunday that it's added extra staffing across units in the Bay Area in light of the expected weather conditions.

CAL FIRE CZU in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties will have 16 additional engines, four battalion chiefs and three extra crews.

CAL FIRE SCU in Santa Clara, Contra Costa and Alameda counties will also have extra crews on standby.

"All days off are canceled," said Robert Foxworthy, a public information officer with CAL FIRE.

That will allow them to staff up their specialty response teams to be able to quickly respond across the state.

Right now, he says their agency is only fighting one fire in the state but it has been an otherwise busy year with nearly than 5,000 fires across the state.

"Compared to last year, that's about 715 more fires and 103,000 more acres compared to where we were last year," said Foxworthy.

Bay Area residents can check the latest forecasts here.

VIDEO: See incredible video of lighting strikes, thunderstorms across SF Bay Area

Mother Nature is putting on quite a display Sunday morning. ABC7's cameras around the Bay Area captured some amazing shots of the lightning show.

Bay City News Service contributed to this article.