Fire officials call in extra help to prepare for hot temps, high winds

Bay Area

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) – Fire officials say they are calling in extra teams just to make sure they are ready as the winds are already picking up.

They have already had a fire in a Santa Rosa neighborhood when someone didn’t heed their warnings.

In the Fountaingrove neighborhood of Santa Rosa, crews rushed in and the fire didn’t take off on them but the threat was there.

“We had this fire, and it was from a landscaper,” Assistant Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal said. 

Paul Lowenthal is the assistant fire marshall with Santa Rosa Fire Department.  

He says with the Red Flag Warning in effect for the weekend and the models showing high winds and low humidity a major concern, they need all the help they can get to ensure disaster does not develop again.

“We have extra staff. We are making sure we are ready just in case. We are already seeing winds,” Lowenthal said. 

Lowenthal says the county and so many residents impacted by the massively destructive wine country blaze are better prepared now but he says it is vital to make sure bags are packed, and ready to head out on a moment’s notice.

“We have closed down several parks, for access, we don’t want the public up there, if we need to get in for water to fight a fire,” Battalion Chief Bret McTigue said. 

Battalion Chief Bret McTigue says they are watching from their array of cameras on hill tops around Marin County.

An elaborate system was put in a few years ago, and helps them spot a wildfire, in the meantime he says it is up to everyone to play it safe.

“We say use motors before 10am, or not at all right now, till we get through this,” McTigue said.

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