SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) — A Red Flag Warning is set to take effect in parts of the North Bay from Monday at 11 a.m. until Tuesday night.
Fire officials are asking people to be careful while taking part in Memorial Day festivities.
KRON4 spoke with a woman who spent decades as a firefighter. She says when you can pick up a leaf like this and essentially crush it into dust in your hand, you know just how little moisture there is in the air and just how high the fire risk is.
“Until you’ve been in front of it, until you’ve experienced it in person, you just don’t know how fast or how big a fire can get in those conditions,” said President of Fire Safe Sonoma Roberta MacIntyre.
MacIntyre says people should take the Red Flag Warning seriously. Fire officials are forecasting critical fire weather conditions.
“It just seems like there’s been so much drought and dry weather and wind it’s pretty much year round almost,” MacIntyre said.
There will be a combination of low relative humidity, high winds, and warm temperatures.
Macintrye says any spark can cause a wildfire. It could be from a cigarette, a chain dragged behind a car, or even cooking.
Macintrye says most fires are caused by human error.
“Roughly 95% of fires in California are caused by people, whether it’s equipment or people doing silly things,” she said.
Santa Rosa firefighters have already been busy this week. A vegetation fire broke out on Wednesday.
On Sunday, there was at a structure fire in the Franklin Park area that required four engines and a ladder truck.
But when there is a Red Flag Warning in effect, Macintrye recommends having your go kit ready and make sure you know where your pets are just in case.
If you live in an area where a Red Flag Warning is in effect, officials say you should reach out to family or friends out of town in case you did need to evacuate and find somewhere to stay.