Fire risk increases in Bay Area on hottest day of week; Red Flag Warning issued for Thursday, Friday

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Red Flag Warning issued for Bay Area
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This week's hot weather is elevating the risk of wildfires in the Bay Area. A Red Flag Warning has been issued, according to the National Weather Service.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- This week's hot weather is elevating the risk of wildfires in the Bay Area. A Red Flag Warning was issued on Wednesday for Thursday starting at 11 a.m. until Friday at 8 p.m.

Firefighters said on Wednesday they have worked hard to prepare for the risk, and say you should be preparing, too.

VIDEO: Watch your ABC7 AccuWeather forecast

"We think it's going to be very busy. We are prepared and are asking citizens do their part to make sure they are prepared as well," Contra Costa's fire marshal, Chris Bachman, told ABC7 News.

One exercise in getting ready happened over the weekend. Contra Costa County firefighters, along with Walnut Creek police, conducted an evacuation drill in the retirement community of Rossmoor.

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"Rossmoor was targeted because it is a community with over 10,000 residents and there's only one way in and out."

They created more lanes to be used for escape routes and evacuated 100 cars in 10 minutes. Officials also tested their radios and communications strategies.

"Practice drills like that build confidence with our residents and our firefighters," he said.

RELATED: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation

Firefighters in the county are also conducting controlled burns in Rodeo this week, which he says accomplishes two goals.

"It eliminates fuels along 880 that backs up to the houses and it also allows us to practice fire operations with our new firefighters."

VIDEO: Red Flag Warning issued amid hot temps, high fire danger for parts of Bay Area and CA

They have also added to their fleet. Contra Costa Fire acquired two new Type 6 engines this year, bringing the total to four, which can help them get through difficult terrain.

"It allows us to get into some of those tight areas in the canals and open space in our fields that maybe our type three engines have trouble getting to."

Bachman says this hot weather should serve as an alert to Bay Area residents to start their preparations, which should include an evacuation plan and a go bag.

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