Bay Area firefighters prepare for start of wildfire season as heat wave approaches


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – The weather in the Bay Area is expected to make a major change next week, moving from rain to warm temperatures, which could increase fire danger even though it’s only March. .

Rain made an appearance in the Bay Area on the last day of winter, giving the wipers a workout in San Rafael. Umbrellas were set up at North Beach and on the Embarcadero. Much-needed rain is a welcome sight during our ongoing drought. Jessica Diaz France and her son Adrian will take care of it.

“We have a lot of plants that need water, so we have a vegetable garden, it really helps us when it rains,” Diaz-France said.

But our cool, wet weather will be gone before you can say, heat wave.

RELATED: CA drought to worsen this spring with warmer temperatures, lack of rain, NOAA says

Temperatures are expected to climb next week, causing great concern for firefighters.

“We understand that the weather will help dry out the combustibles, we are already seeing early drying of grasses and light combustibles,” said Marin County Fire Battalion Chief Graham Groneman.

Chief Groneman says the hill grasses are dying day by day, they haven’t seen significant rain since the start of the year.

Marin County is preparing for wildfires with an ambitious project underway, creating fuel cut-off buffers on 38 miles of fire roads near Mount Tamalpais.

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“When we have our inevitable wildfire in Marin, we’ll give our firefighters the best possible chance of successfully suppressing it,” Chief Groneman said.

The Marin Wildfire Protection Authority funds the Ross Valley Shaded Fuel Break project.

Groneman thinks climate change is shifting the timeline of wildfire season.

“The climate that’s been affecting us for the past five to ten years has shown us this pattern of earlier starts and later fire seasons,” he said.

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