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Dry Weather Has Firefighters on Heightened Alert

Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty to be able to respond to any new fires in the region.

Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty to be able to respond to any new fires in the region.  Photo: Joan Dentler
Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty to be able to respond to any new fires in the region. Photo: Joan Dentler
Bay City News contributed to this article.

Continuing warm, dry weather conditions throughout the Bay Area have firefighters on alert because of heightened fire danger.

The San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services issued an extreme fire weather warning Thursday morning, urging anyone working outdoors over the next 24 to 48 hours to be especially cautious.

Cal Fire crews in San Mateo County were kept busy battling a grass fire that burned roughly 4 acres in the San Gregorio area on Wednesday evening, Cal Fire Capt. Gary Silva said.
           
Fire crews planned to remain at the scene of the grass fire until Thursday evening to monitor and suppress possible hotspots.

On Tuesday, a brush fire on Kimball Island in Solano County burned three homes, several outbuildings and 40-50 acres, according to fire officials.
           
Several people were evacuated off of the small island, located just north of Antioch, Lt. Corinne Gaines said.
           
The fire started as a 10-acre brush fire but grew rapidly because of strong winds, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Last week, the Belmont Parks and Recreation Department teamed up with Cal Fire's Fire Safe Crews to clear vegetation and improve the fire breaks on trails in the Water dog Lake Open Space Area. Specifically, sections of the John Brooks Trail were cleared  to reduce the danger of a wildfire in the open space near homes. This week the crews are continuing their work in the San Juan Canyon. 

The Redwood City Fire Department is urging all residents who live in hilly areas of Redwood City, San Carlos and unincorporated San Mateo County to clear away any dead or dry brush or grasses near their homes.

Redwood City fire officials said residents should have a minimum of 30 feet to 100 feet of defensible space around their homes.
           
Freezing temperatures in November and December in the Bay Area have contributed to the dying off of trees and brush, making vegetation even drier than normal and more susceptible to catching fire, according to Redwood City fire officials.
           
Residents are also reminded that setting off fireworks is illegal in most areas and that anyone found breaking fireworks-related laws can be held financially responsible for the fire suppression costs, fire officials said.

A red flag warning in the northern Sierra area, including the Tahoe National Forest and El Dorado National Forest, remains in effect until 9 a.m. Friday due to low humidity and gusty northeast winds, according to the National Weather Service.
           
Red flag warnings are issued when there is a forecast of any combination of low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, or the possibility of dry lightning strikes, according to the NWS.
           
Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty to be able to respond to any new fires in the region.

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