Fire Season’s Officially Over

Hallelujah, the fire season’s officially over!

We fared well this year, with no real damage to home and hearth.  No one was forced to flee, like the Big One back in 1991.  Look at this photo showing everyone driving, one-way through town – and with the fires raging only a few miles behind them.

Oakland Fire 1991

During the 2008 season, we had two “book-end” fires:  one early and one late in the season.

The Hiller fire arrived in June and burned three acres.  It looked intense but was snuffed out quickly because we were, well, prepared for this sort of fire in the same place as 1991.

At the end of October, there was a controlled burn-gone-bad outside Tilden Park.  The Grizzly Peak fire burned around ten acres in the woods, but was put out quickly by coordinated fire fighters.

Add a few official Red Flag Warning days, where the winds are high and anything can ignite – and call the Fire Season over.

Hiller Fire Photos, 2008

Nothing like a fire to support the first Red Flag Warning this season. In all seriousness, we are better prepared than in 1991 – and equally lucky we didn’t incur the wind god’s wrath last Thursday.

Joe Dougherty snapped a complete set of Hiller fire photos, including the fire crews and helicopter water drops. Here’s a preview of the fire, before it was controlled:

While the fire was around three acres – and extinguished quickly – it was very close to us. It’s time to pay attention to the brush around your homes, as this season could be a scorcher.

First Fire Warning Tonight

The National Weather Service has declared a “Red Flag Warning” tonight, due to very high winds. According to the Oakland Park Ranger, Kent McNab, this is the first fire warning of the season.

Between 9pm tonight and 6am tomorrow, all Oakland Hills residents should be a bit more careful. Simply put, please don’t start any outside fires – the embers could catch.

Within Oakland’s jurisdiction, Joaquin Miller Park will be closed to the public. No barbeques or even cigarettes are permitted during this alert. Welcome to summer in the hills.