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Bay Area Firefighters Prepare for Fire Season

It’s only the first week of May, but we are already seeing a red flag warning for Solano County, where there is elevated fire danger. Fuels are drying out and starting to cure.

Now, firefighters across the Bay Area are bracing for what could be a busy fire season.

When Christian Dowell moved to Orinda, he made plans with the potential for wildfires in mind.

“We need to go through the trees clean them all out them out,” he said. “Long before we moved here, we take out everything from the ground up. It’s a way just clear out all the dead brush and stuff.”

Dowell’s home is near a portion of the north Orinda shaded fuel break. On Sunday, firefighters were getting reoriented with fire trails and checking trail conditions.

“Right now, our heavy fuels that are really an indicator of how far along in fire season we are as dry as they would be in a normal year the first of July,” said Dennis Rein with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District.

At the Moraga-Orinda Fire District, they stay prepared for the season with an aggressive fuel management program.

“Our fire crews went in burned piles in the middle of winter when they didn’t have a risk of escaping and doing damage. That’s one of the ways were trying to reduce fuels,” Rein added.

Rein said that the department is rolling out a pilot program of new fire adapted community ambassador volunteers to help homeowners spot areas on their property that could be vulnerable. They said that it will help them address it.

“We’re looking at an accelerated fire season our fire danger is still relatively low,” he said. “But if you look at the hills surrounding our district two weeks ago all the grass green that wouldn’t have carried fire. If you look at it today all that grass is brown and will certainly burn quite easily.”

In Orinda, Dowell said the firefighters’ work that’s ongoing is always appreciated. “It’s great to see the firefighters here taking care of the hillside,” he said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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