(KRON) — In the North Bay, firefighters are on alert over the high heat warning and gearing up for what could be a busy holiday weekend.
“A double-edged sword here with the heat and potential fire risk as well,” said Paul Lowenthal, Santa Rosa Fire Department. Firefighters in Santa Rosa said they will be on alert through the Labor Day weekend.
“The back-to-back days with the low humidity and high temperatures are going to make things that much more critically dry and although we’re not expecting any winds but any fire that develops has the potential to spread rapidly just from the fuels and potentially the terrain,” said Lowenthal.
Lowenthal said it is best to hold off on yard work, but fire safety is not his only concern. He said the department also responds to calls related to heat illnesses and it is important to know the symptoms.
“When you start to get nauseous, kind of that lightheaded feeling, your skin really starts to get bright red or clammy and cool, you’re dealing with either that heat potential stroke or heat exhaustion and really there’s a number of warning signs along those lines that tell you when it’s time to take a break,” said Lowenthal.
The City of Santa Rosa will open cooling centers over the holiday weekend. The National Weather Service issued excessive heat watches and warnings across the Bay Area beginning Saturday until Tuesday.
“Our biggest concern right now are people that don’t have access to air conditioning and also people that are naturally sensitive to heat such as the sick, the elderly, or very very young children, and don’t forget pets as well. They can be sensitive to the heat,” said Brooke Bingaman, National Weather Service meteorologist.
As for as dealing with the heat over the holiday weekend, Bingaman has some advice.
“The biggest thing that people should keep in mind about this weekend is to look out for each other and to make sure they have some way to keep themselves cool and to stay well hydrated so if we all work together, we can get through this heat event,” said Bingaman.