Alameda County issues fire risk alert for East Bay Hills

Bobby Lee/Staff

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Alameda County released an alert Thursday evening warning residents of a fire risk in the East Bay Hills due to high temperatures.

According to the alert, the National Weather Service has released a “Red Flag Warning,” meaning there is a high risk for vegetation fires Saturday because of a combination of strong winds and hot temperatures. Residents in the hills were advised to park cars in driveways and garages to leave the streets clear for emergency vehicles.

On Aug. 2, a 20-acre forest fire broke out in the Berkeley Hills, taking two days to contain. A few days later, the fire was found to have been started by an arsonist.

Funding for fire prevention in the East Bay has been a point of contention since September 2016, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, cut millions of dollars in fire-prevention funding that had previously been allocated for the East Bay Hills. In June, the UC Board of Regents sued FEMA for putting the program on “indefinite delay.”

Ashley Wong is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @wongalum.