Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín described the city’s response to the red flag warning issued for the Bay Area beginning Sunday morning as “unprecedented.”
The Berkeley Fire Department worked with neighboring jurisdictions and added more patrols in the Berkeley Hills to monitor conditions throughout the red flag warning period, according to Arreguín.
The winds experienced Sunday through Monday were the strongest ones this year, Arreguín added. The National Weather Service declared an “extremely critical” risk for fire danger across the East Bay due to the high winds and low humidity levels.
“Such unprecedented conditions required an unprecedented response,” Arreguín said in an email.
Throughout the red flag warning period, six downed tree limbs were called in, and about 750 people were affected by PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff, which lasted 24 hours in Berkeley.
In response to the growing number of red flag warnings, Arreguín said the city is increasing funding for vegetation management and emergency response training.
“Fortunately, no fires sparked around Berkeley,” Arreguín said in the email. “But the reality is extreme conditions and Red Flag Warnings will become more frequent in the coming years as a result of climate change.”