Fire Danger increasing in some areas

Per NOAA: “HAVE UPGRADED THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH TO A RED FLAG WARNING FOR ZONE 511. THIS COVERS THE EAST BAY HILLS AND INLAND HILLS OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY ABOVE 1000 FEET. INTEL FROM LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES IS THAT GRASSES BETWEEN 1000-2000 FEET ARE CURED AND WILL CARRY FIRE IN WINDY ENVIRONMENT…THE SACRAMENTO OFFICE ISSUED RED FLAGS FOR THE ENTIRE SAC VALLEY SO WINDY WEATHER WILL BE FELT IN THE DELTA AND OUR FAR EAST BAY VALLEYS AS WELL. FAIR AMOUNT OF PRESCRIBED BURNING AS WELL AS HEADING INTO A HOT WEEKEND RAISES CONCERNS. SPC HAS OUR AREA HIGHLIGHTED IN A CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER THREAT. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH SEVERAL OF THE RECORD HIGHS FOR TODAY ONLY GO BACK TO 2008 WHEN A SIMILAR SYNOPTIC PATTERN TOOK HOLD. JUNE 10TH IS THE DATE THE INDIANS FIRE STARTED IN MONTEREY COUNTY UNDER A SIMILAR WEATHER PATTERN WITH AN UNSEASONABLY STRONG TROUGH OVER THE GREAT BASIN WITH FAVORABLE WIND FLOW ALOFT FOR CREATING STRONG NORTH/NORTHEAST WINDS IN THE HILLS.”

And this news release was issued by Cal-Fire today, June 11, 2010:

“Sacramento – The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning this weekend for the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area, resulting in an elevated fire danger.
In response to the heightened fire danger, CAL FIRE is increasing its staffing and urging the public to be extra cautious this weekend. “The grass across the region is already dying or dead,” said Chief Andy McMurry, assistant deputy director for CAL FIRE. “Our firefighters are ready to respond to any wildfires, but we really need to the public’s help in preventing fires.”
Today, CAL FIRE will preposition many of its airtankers from the department’s maintenance base at McClellan Air Park in Sacramento County to its air bases across Northern California. Throughout the winter the aircraft undergo extensive maintenance preparing them for firefighting activity. CAL FIRE has staffed its airbases in Southern California since the beginning of May, where conditions have dried out earlier.
The Red Flag Warning stretches from Redding to Modesto and into the East Bay from 11 a.m. Friday to 8 p.m. on Saturday due to a combination of warm temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds.
CAL FIRE officials are urging the public to remain extra vigilant this weekend and help them prevent fires.”

It is time to start really paying attention, particularly since the LPNF policy is to base any campfire restrictions on forest-wide conditions, rather than local conditions, and with high temps predicted for this weekend, it is time to tune the neighborhood watch up a ratchet. I have a number of other “news” events to cover in the next few days, as well as the photographs for the summer header to post for voting, so will be busy keeping you all updated this weekend.