SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – While the Red Flag Warning issued for parts of the North Bay and East Bay expired Tuesday afternoon, the recent weather conditions kept firefighters busy in the South Bay over the last few days.
San Jose firefighters responded to at least three brush fires — One of them happening as late as last night.
Firefighters say these fires are here sooner than they thought but it’s not unprecedented.
However, they say they’re more concerned about this year and what’s to come given the extremely dry conditions ahead of fire season.
“It tells us and the fire departments that we need to be prepared,” Captain Mitch Matlow said.
The takeaway message after battling several fires over the weekend and on Monday in San Jose.
First, there was Saturday afternoon’s fire at Los Lagos Golf Course and then a second one hours later on Oakland Road.
Firefighters fought the large flames for several hours but would later be back at it on Monday when a third fire broke out near Berryessa Rd. and 680.
Captain Matlow with San Jose fire says they’re still investigating the causes of those fires but says more are likely to come soon.
“Concerns we have about this year in specific are the lack of moisture. Fuels that should still be moist are already dry, the way we would expect to see them at the end of fire season September, October. So the potential for a fire getting started and traveling quickly is there and then when you have weather like we had this weekend and continued today. When you have those kinds of conditions any fire that does start is going to have erratic behavior and it’s going to be very difficult to fight,” Captain Matlow said.
It was the first Red Flag weekend of the year in the Bay Area.
While that Red Flag Warning issued on Friday expired Tuesday afternoon, Captain Matlow says if you haven’t already, now is the time to get prepared as we expect similar weather conditions in the near future.
“People that live in the urban interface environment definitely need to prepare their properties. Cut down the grasses and those sort of things, create defensible space. If they’re going to do that though they should do it early in the morning while the fuels are still moist from the night mist and marine layer coming in. Don’t wait until its 2 o’clock in the afternoon when it’s 100 degrees out and very low humidity,” Captain Matlow said.
Captain Matlow says every fire season we hear this is going to be the worst one yet, so large wildfires are nothing new to us here in the Bay Area — But it’s a bigger deal this year because of drier conditions and more people living in the wildland areas.