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Another round of hot weather brings more fire concerns across Bay Area

Red Flag Warnings, heat advisories in effect for parts of Bay Area as temperatures soar
Red Flag Warnings, heat advisories in effect for parts of Bay Area as temperatures soar 01:17

By Andrea Nakano

SAN FRANCISCO -- The heat has returned to the Bay Area and so has increased fire risk as temperatures soaring even higher across inland areas Tuesday.

The National Weather Service forecast for Tuesday predicted another hot one, with the hottest conditions in the mid 90s in the inner East Bay and in Napa County. In Napa County, a heat advisory is in effect through Wednesday, when temperatures may reach into the 100s.

ConFire says it has canceled all prescribed burns and firefighting training exercises for the next few days as temperatures creep into the 90s. Experts though remind us these type of conditions will last well into winter.

Just over 91 acres burned in the remote area of Contra Costa County near Tassajara Monday afternoon. A full response was sent to this fire with lots of help from air units up above. Members of the Napa County Sheriff's Department and the St. Helena Police carried out mandatory evacuations for some residents on Howell Mountain in the Ridgeview area due to the Pope Fire Monday evening.

A Red Flag Warning continued for parts of Solano County on Monday due to forecast winds and warm temperatures.  

Craig Clements, the Director of the Wildfire Research Center at San Jose State University told KPIX 5 that Bay Area residents can expect many more vegetation fires into next month.  

"Right now, our fuel moistures -- which is the amount of water content in the plants -- is 20% below normal," Clements explained.

The biggest concern is these grass fires will turn into wildfires in areas with heavy brush. Professor Alison Bridger with San Jose State said the Bay Area will be in some state of fire danger at least until the first winter storm. 

"Every single hot, dry, breezy day from now on is going to be a little nerve racking from a fire weather point of view," said Bridger.

The Bay Area luckily has the marine influence to provided some relief, but the overall outlook on fire danger does not look good at all. 

"As you look into the future, it's difficult to find good news as far as the warming and drying and the wildfire activity is concerned," said Bridger.

The one piece of good news is that PG&E has started its plan to bury power lines underground. Clements said it's critical to take away sources of ignition. 

"Burial of the power lines is going to make a big impact in the fire risk in regions that are susceptible to strong winds," he said.


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