SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS (KPIX 5) – Residents along with fire crews in the Santa Cruz Mountains are bracing for hot temperatures and high fire danger, as a heat wave is expected to scorch much of Northern California this weekend.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning covering the mountains along with most inland areas, which is set to begin Friday at noon and expire Sunday at 11 p.m.
Those at higher elevations will see little relief from the heat overnight, with highs in 90s and 100s, and overnight lows in 70s and 80s.
The weather service called particular attention to young children, the elderly, and those without air conditioning, since many homes in the mountains typically do not have AC.
With memories of last year's massive wildfire still fresh, Cal Fire has "all hands on deck" within the CZU unit, and has fully staffed all engines.
All told, Cal Fire has 13 pieces of equipment ready, along with a helicopter. The agency is reminding homeowners to maintain defensible space, and be ready with a fire safety plan.
"If the stars align, bad things will happen. This is where the rubber meets the road. I'm not here to sugarcoat everything," said Division Chief Aldo Gonzalez. "Be ready for yourself, your family, your community, and helping us to help you."
At the Mason Taylor Ranch on Summit Road, owner Roger Mason will be mowing the grass for the third time this season. Staff will also prepare apple cider and fresh eggs for sale, should any tourists stop by on their way home from the beach.
Mason's family has worked the land in the mountains for generations, and has noticed the temperature steadily climb over the years.
"Well, if it isn't climate change I don't know what you call it. I mean, the climate is changing. I've never seen anything like this," said Mason.
for more features.