Thursday, 13 June 2024

Cal Fire moves air tankers to Northern California bases due to fire danger concerns

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning this weekend for the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area, resulting in an elevated fire danger.

In response to the heightened fire danger, Cal Fire is increasing its staffing and urging the public to be extra cautious this weekend.

“The grass across the region is already dying or dead,” said Chief Andy McMurry, assistant deputy director for Cal Fire.

“Our firefighters are ready to respond to any wildfires, but we really need to the public’s help in preventing fires.”

On Friday, Cal Fire began prepositioning many of its air tankers from the department’s maintenance base at McClellan Air Park in Sacramento County to its air bases across Northern California. Throughout the winter the aircraft undergo extensive maintenance preparing them for firefighting activity.

Cal Fire has staffed its airbases in Southern California since the beginning of May, where conditions have dried out earlier.

The red flag warning stretches from Redding to Modesto and into the East Bay from 11 a.m. Friday to 8 p.m. on Saturday due to a combination of warm temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds.

Cal Fire officials are urging the public to remain extra vigilant this weekend and help them prevent fires.

Here are some tips to help prevent wildfires:

  • Don’t mow weeds after 10 a.m.

  • Never use a lawn mower in dry grass.

  • Completely extinguish any campfire.

  • Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished and never thrown outside.

For more fire safety tips visit the Cal Fire Web site at or

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