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The original item was published from 8/12/2011 9:00:56 AM to 8/12/2011 9:02:38 AM.

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Fire

Posted on: August 12, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Bay Area Fire Season to Ramp Up

The Bay Area wildfire season can become serious as early as May. This year, late spring rains and a mild, foggy summer has reduced the threat of a large, catastrophic wildfire. But residents shouldn't think we're out of danger. Typically, the wildfire season in the Bay Area ramps up in September and peaks in October. This is when the Bay fog typically subsides, temperatures warm up and an off-shore wind component lowers the humidity levels. This is the weather pattern that sets the stage for major wildfire. It is coupled with the fact that it will be several months since we've had any rainfall, and the hillside brush is dry and ready to burn. The catastrophic 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Fire Disaster occurred in late October. A week after the event, the rainy season began. Thus, residents need to ensure that there is at least a 30 foot defensible space zone between structures and any flammable vegetation. Roofs and rain gutters should be clear of any dry leaves. During a windy day, is the the flying embers that will cause fires to break out well ahead of the main body of fire. Anything on your property that can easily ignite can result in catastrophic damage to your home and belongings. So, now is the time to ensure you are prepared. Clear your property, have an evacuation plan, and help your neighbors prepare. With everyone working together, we can help minimize the potential for a catastrophic wildfire event occurring in our community.

Oakland-Berkeley Fire Disaster of 1991
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