Red Flag Warning prompts Rockville Park closure in Fairfield

Thursday, May 19, 2022
Red Flag Warning prompts North Bay park closure
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A huge area of California is under a Red Flag Warning Thursday because of the hot, dry, windy conditions, including the Bay Area county of Solano.

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KGO) -- A huge area of California is under a Red Flag Warning Thursday because of the hot, dry, windy conditions, including the Bay Area county of Solano.

The fire marshal in Fairfield says his team will spend the day working on public education and fire prevention.

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"Everybody's head is on a 360 swivel to ensure that any areas that need abatement or areas we need to address, we do our best to respond immediately," said Fire Marshal Steven Conti.

Fairfield city officials close Rockville Park when a Red Flag Warning is issued, saying the 633-acre regional park is just too dry and has too much fuel.

"There is a lot of combustible vegetation, we have ladder fuel. It's a beautiful park, but there's high fire danger in this area," Conti said.

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A group of hikers from Davis said they come to the park because it isn't too far from their home and is a great hike.

"We were just going to hike here today. We have to be back by 1:30 and this is close, it's a fast hike and its fun. And we know what we're doing and here we are and...it's not happening," said Bob McMullen Thursday morning, standing outside the closed gate at the park entrance.

He and his friends were disappointed but say they get it.

"I understand. We think about it when we're hiking - what if there is a fire while you're in there, how are you going to get out," he said.

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Another hiker in the group agreed.

"I know the fires have been tough and they say winters in Solano County are bad, so I think it's probably smart to try and protect people and not have something happen," said Sandy Mansfield, also of Davis.

Firefighters hope the public will be as agreeable as the visitors from Davis.

"Please listen. If the park is closed, don't come down here. One little spark, we could have a tragic catastrophe," Conti said outside the gate.

Meanwhile, the Davis hikers are now resigned to having longer drives to hikes in the Sierra or the Bay Area, and also facing the harshness of this climate change reality.

"That's really scary isn't it, the whole thing, the whole weather... normal isn't normal anymore. I don't know, it's scary," Mansfield said.

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