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CAL FIRE braces for high fire danger ahead of warm week

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) - Temperatures are on the rise with parts of South Monterey County, Hollister and the Santa Cruz Mountains seeing temps in the 90s.

Seeing a rise in temperature during the fall is a cause for concern when it comes to fires in California.

"It only takes a couple of hours of direct sunlight and really they're ready to burn. It only takes one spark," says Curtis Rhodes, Fire Captain for the San Benito Monterey Unit.

CAL FIRE says they are keeping an eye on the inland areas, as parts of the central coast are expecting to hit close to triple-digit heat.

"We are working closely with our cooperators in the event we do fall into any type of red flag warnings, it would allow us to forecast and potentially hold additional personnel on and some overhead and strategically manipulate or move engines into areas of concern," said Rhodes.

Curtis says there have been several fires so far this year during mild temperatures.

"We have seen a lot of wildland fire start this year in and around our highway systems. As you know, we do have a lot of light and flashy vegetation that goes right up to the highway," said Rhodes.

The department is keeping helicopter aircraft at the Hollister airbase until further notice.

Drone teams are also out in the event CAL FIRE needs to plot anything. Most importantly, it will be fully staffed into the weekend.

In the event we do strategically move engines down for pre-position due to the weather, we will absolutely absorb some of the engines here and keep those stations filled appropriately in the event we need to combat wildland fire here in the unit this weekend," said Rhodes.

CAL FIRE says it's also on the community to report what they see. If there's visible smoke near where you live, make sure to call it into CAL FIRE.

Article Topic Follows: Monterey County

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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