Extreme Fire Conditions

With High Winds and Red Flag Conditions, Cal OES Pre-Positions Critical Firefighting Resources and Personnel Throughout California

In preparation for dangerous fire weather conditions, including high winds, anticipated to impact counties in both Northern and Southern California, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has strategically pre-positioned critical fire response resources to include strike teams of fire engines, firefighters and emergency dispatchers in the designated impacted areas.

These resources and personnel are staffing up into position. The pre-positioned fire resources and emergency personnel include:

  • Los Angeles City – one OES strike team of Type 3 fire engines and one emergency dispatcher.
  • Orange County – one local government strike team of Type I fire engines and water tender.
  • Los Angeles County –  one local government strike team of 5 Type 1 engines, one water tender and one emergency dispatcher.
  • Ventura County – one local government strike team of 5 Type 1 engines and one emergency dispatcher.
  • Sonoma County – one local government strike team of 5 Type 3 engines, one OES water tender and one emergency dispatcher.
  • Napa County – one local task force of 4 engines.
  • Marin County – one OES strike team of 5 Type 1 engines, one water tender and one emergency dispatcher.
  • Lake County – one OES strike team of 4 Type 3 engines and one water tender.
  • Contra Costa County – 1 local government task force of 3 Type 3 engines and 2 water tenders.
  • Alameda County – one OES strike team of 5 Type 3 engines and one water tender.
  • San Bernardino County – one local government strike team of 5 type 3 engines, one dozer and 1 type 21A local hand crew.
All pre-positioned resources are expected to remain in place and will be evaluated every twelve hours and extended as necessary until the conclusion of the need, depending on the weather conditions across the state.

A strike team includes five fire engines with 15 firefighters and a strike team leader. For more information on Cal OES Fire Regions, click here. A task force is five fire resources of different types/vehicles, such as four fire engines and one water tender make up a single task force.

The National Weather Service is forecasting unusually low relative humidity and winds gusting up to 60 miles per hour or higher in isolated areas, creating Red Flag weather conditions over parts of Southern California as well as the East Bay Hills and North Bay Mountains.  The strongest winds are expected Thursday night into Friday, with critical fire conditions continuing through Friday before the winds weaken late Friday into Saturday.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will soon. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire potential and erratic fire behavior.

The public is urged is remain aware of their surrounding conditions and to avoid outdoor activities that can cause a spark near dry vegetation, such as yard work, target shooting, or campfires and follow local fire restrictions. Also, remember to have an emergency plan in place, emergency preparedness kits at home and vehicles full of fuel; sign-up for emergency alerts; listen to authorities and warnings and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

The Cal OES Warning Center and State Operations Center will monitor conditions and be ready for further resource requests as necessary throughout the Red Flag period.

For more from Cal OES, visit CalOES.ca.gov and follow us on Twitter @Cal_OES.

Bryan May

Bryan May is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. Prior to joining Cal OES in 2017, Bryan spent 30 years as an Emmy award winning television anchor and reporter.

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