Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) on Monday announced a return to full responses for all grass, vegetation and wildland fires — which consists of sending a minimum of five firefighting apparatus and crews to the scene — because of the early arrival of seasonal fire weather.
During the winter months, such responses have required only a single engine, but with rain totals at about 35 to 40 percent of normal, prompting a Stage 1 drought declaration in the region, fire season has come early and full responses are needed, ConFire said.
“Due to lack of moisture, grass and new brush growth has been stunted, but the fuels that are present across the District are uncharacteristically dry for this point in the season,” the fire agency said. “Moreover, long-range weather forecasts predict average to slightly above average temperatures with little chance of measurable precipitation.”
ConFire Chief Lewis Broschard III urged all residents to practice weed abatement, defensible space creation, and to review plans for a possible evacuation.
“Owner preparation of properties is the single most effective thing that can be done to save homes and businesses ahead of possible wildfires,” added ConFire Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Chris Bachman. “Investment in fire safe preparation today can buy the time tomorrow for firefighters to arrive and protect structures from wildfire loss. The owner who abates weeds and creates defensible space can truly make a difference, which early season fires have already demonstrated.”
Detailed information on protecting homes and businesses and preparing for possible evacuations can be found on the District’s website at www.cccfpd.org.