BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

Berkeley Fire Department cautions residents amid fire weather

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LISI LUDWIG | SENIOR STAFF

In preparation for the impending wildfire season, the Berkeley Fire Department has issued safety recommendations to protect residents.

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AUGUST 08, 2022

The city published a series of recommendations from the Berkeley Fire Department in preparation for California’s upcoming wildfire season.

With catastrophic fires becoming the unfortunate norm, city officials have been taking steps to mitigate the damage. One important step includes educating and warning residents as early as possible.

The latest recommendation advises Berkeley Hills residents to evacuate their homes during “extreme fire weather” circumstances, according to a city press release.

According to Stefan Elgstrand, the legislative aide of Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, extreme fire weather often takes place between the months of September and November when Diablo winds are most likely to occur.

“While extreme fire weather is rare, with it occurring on two days in Berkeley in 2020, they are occurring with increasing frequency as a result of climate change,” Elgstrand said in an email.

Characterized by high winds and low humidity, the extreme weather allows fire to ignite easily and spread rapidly. These conditions have previously been associated with the 1923 Berkeley fire and the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm in particular, Elgstrand noted.

Elgstrand added that extreme fire weather is also influenced by the arrival of seasonal rain and other meteorological factors.

While all areas can be affected, the conditions pose the greatest threat to those residing in hilly neighborhoods with narrow roadways, the city press release reads.

Communities near Berkeley Fire Zones 2 and 3 particularly face potential evacuation challenges in unideal circumstances. They have been advised in the city press release to evacuate immediately when warnings by the National Weather Service transition from a “Red Flag Warning” to “Extreme Fire Weather.”

According to the city press release, residents should remain on heightened alert when a “Red Flag Warning” is issued. They should keep their devices on, avoid activities that could cause fire and be prepared to evacuate quickly.

Contact Erica Jean at 

LAST UPDATED

AUGUST 08, 2022


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