Firefighters warn about Halloween decorations catching fire

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Gusty winds and low humidity mean there is a high risk of wildfire, especially in the higher elevations of the North Bay and the East Bay.

In Contra Costa County, fire officials have strike teams on standby. They also have a word of warning for anyone with outdoor Halloween decorations.

Fire season isn’t over yet, and fire crews are watching for problems.

Across Contra Costa County, the hills and trees are bone dry.  

“We haven’t had significant rainfall since last winter,” Rode-Hercules Fire District Capt. Jerry Short said.

With the return of Red Flag conditions, fire officials have increased staffing and pre-positioned strike teams across the county including in Richmond, San Ramon, Rodeo-Crocket, and Hercules. In the past, when a fire would break out, a strike team would be assembled to respond.

During Red Flag conditions, the strike teams are already on standby and ready to go.

“We have units pre-positioned, pre-staffed to attack a fire to get a hold on things so it doesn’t turn into a major campaign fire that we have seen in the past,” Capt. Short said. “So, a large scale fire incident we can hopefully get a handle on it much quicker.”

But while fire crews are watching for problems, they are also asking for the public’s help in preventing wildfires.

And as this latest Red Flag comes the day before Halloween, fire officials also want everyone to double check their outdoor decorations. 

The current Red Flag warning is set to expire on Wednesday morning.

The state has given $25 million to the county to staff the pre-positioned strike teams.

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