East Bay residents prepare to evacuate amid extreme fire danger


BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — The Bay Area is bracing for the strongest wind event of the year sweeping across Northern California.

It is threatening extreme fire danger and another round of power shutoffs from PG&E.

By Sunday night, the entire Bay Area will be under a Red Flag Warning that will last until Monday.

The City of Berkeley is warning residents living in the hills to think about evacuating until that threat goes away.

The danger and the potential for losing power in Berkeley has been primarily focused in areas east of Claremont and on Panoramic hill.

However, residents across the East Bay are getting ready in-case they too lose power.

As extreme fire danger threatens areas across the East Bay including the Berkeley hills, residents are getting prepared.

“We have go bags people tend to have bags with maybe their important papers and things you need extra glasses your meds you know whatever,” Marion Fredman said.

Fredman remembers the 1991 firestorm and hopes sunday’s wind event doesn’t get out of control. 

City officials are asking people to consider evacuating from the hills preemptively warning of potential wildfires and blocked roads.

“We want folks to be prepared,” Berkeley Deputy City Manager David White said. “We know the hills is challenging terrain to evacuate in and so early preparation is the best preparation.”

Some residents are more concerned and frustrated about losing power over the potential fire danger.

“The idea of evacuating seems a little premature,” one resident said. “Maybe I’m reading it the wrong way, I hope I don’t regret it.”

Area hardware stores like Ace in Walnut Creek reported seeing customers stocking up before the power possibly goes out.

“They’re picking up extra batteries, picking up extra flashlights,” Bob Flores said. “It’s kinda funny all the things people think about when you have these kinds of wind emergencies, wind events.”

The heightened fire risk is raising anxiety and increasing faith.

“We’re just hoping against hope that the predictions are not gonna happen,” Fredman said.

The potential power shut off could happen around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. 

About 1,500 PG&E customers could be affected, again primarily in the Berkeley Hills.

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