Fire risk remains sky high across Bay Area

Several parts of the Bay Area have been included in an expanded Red Flag Warning for most of Thursday, alerting residents of the high fire danger due to forecasted low humidity and gusty off shore winds, National Weather Service officials said Wednesday.

As of this evening, areas under the warning include the North Bay Mountains, the East Bay Hills and Diablo Range, the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Santa Lucia Mountains, and the inland mountains in Monterey County. The warning is in effect through Thursday afternoon.

Because of the warning, today Oakland city officials asked residents to “use extreme caution and terminate the use of open flame or spark producing equipment” in areas with dry grass and brush.

Similarly, Berkeley city officials today asked residents to be careful when using barbecues, power equipment or other heat sources, such as idling cars.

Also, residents in the Berkeley hills were asked to park their cars in their driveway or garages, in order to leave streets clear for emergency vehicles.

At least 21 people have died and more than 170,000 acres have burned in recent days in 22 major fires throughout the state, according to Cal Fire.