Potentially dangerous wind event has crews in East Bay hills on high alert

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the East Bay hills Tuesday night into Wednesday, as some potentially gusty winds could trigger a rapid spread of any fire that's sparked.

Contra Costa County is prepared for the wind event, with fire crews are on high alert.

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Last year in October, the almost inconceivable happened as a fire breached Highway 24 at 680.

Since then, a giant swath of land has been created with dozers and brush clearing through the East Bay hills from Martinez and Pleasant Hill through Lafayette and onto San Pablo Dam rd and El Sobrante.

"It creates a fuel break and a fire break for any fires that begin to its north and be driven by the Diablo winds, which may be coming this evening," Steve Hill with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said.

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"Winds from the north. It protects Lafayette and communities to the west," he said.

To address the potential danger, a 12-person hand crew is on standby. They've also staffed up two extra engine companies and the state has given the OK to pre-positioned them.

A water truck and extra personnel are also standing by further east.

"Our area we are most concerned about is the Marsh Creek and Morgan Territory, part of our district that's running along the hillside from Clayton to Brentwood out there," Steve Aubert, Fire Marshal with the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District said.

Technology is also helping with the Alert Wildfire Camera Network that allows fire crews to assess situations remotely and direct their resources in and out of a growing fire zone.

The threat of a Diablo wind event is expected to dissipate on Wednesday.

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