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Crews In Position For Raised Fire Danger Through Wednesday

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) -- Firefighters in Contra Costa County have increased staff levels and pre-positioned firefighting resources in high-risk fire areas throughout the county Tuesday in anticipation of a red flag warning and high fire danger forecast by the National Weather Service.

The low humidity and strong wind gusts are creating a perfect recipe for disaster in the North Bay and East Bay hills. "There's a greater supply of oxygen to a fire on a windy day than there is on a still day," said Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman Steve Hill. "Think of a blow torch."

Task Force 2025 consists of four wildland fire engines, a water tender, task force leader and an additional emergency dispatcher. The Contra Costa County, East Contra Costa, Rodeo-Hercules and San Ramon Valley fire protection districts all contributed resources.

Fire officials plan to keep their personnel and equipment deployed through Wednesday morning, but that may change depending on weather conditions. This is the fourth time they've utilized their pre-positioning strategy since September.

"With pre-positioning we could put the resources where we expect to fight a fire before it starts and get the jump on it, unlike what has happened historically throughout the state where we wait for a fire and then we call in additional resources," said Hill.

Fire agencies have been working to modernize the mutual-aid system they use to get resources on the scene for major incidents ever since the North Bay firestorm in 2017. Fire officials say local leaders have secured $25 million in state funding for the effort.


© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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