SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Already five percent of Santa Rosa's entire housing stock has been incinerated. Some worry, more fires could cost even more. Hot weather and low humidity have returned.
A lot of dead trees from five years of drought, plus an over abundance of new, dried out growth makes fire danger in northern California sharply increasing once again. And, the rain that helped tamp down North Bay wildfires a few days ago, is history.
"As far as now, with the couple of day of heat that we've had and the wind, it's gone. It's not doing us any good. Our concern is: this is our driest time of the year. The fuels are dried out. They're ready to burn. If we have some wind or we have a fire start this is definitely a heightened sense of awareness for us, especially with the heat that we're having right now," said Battalion Chief Chad Costa of the Petaluma Fire Department.
Unlike many, the McEvoy's Santa Rosa home was spared by the firestorms, but they are well aware that the danger is still very present under present conditions. "We live where fire is very prominent and everyone I know in the fire industry after our drought and then the rains we got last year, al showed extreme concern," said Charlie McEvoy, a Santa Rosa home owner.
"It's definitely concerning. Sonoma County has vast open fields that are highly flammable especially after the large amount of water that we had earlier this year. So much has grown and dried out. So there's definitely that fear," said his wife, Andrea McEvoy.
Fact, is, when you get record heat and gale force winds, into this, you can expect other mass destruction wild fires. "This kind of stuff can happen. What's gonna change or when it's gonna change, that I don't know, but it's definitely gonna be talked about . It's an unprecedented event but it's a reality that this could happen," said Battalion Chief Costa.
Most scientists expect more radical weather events more often due to changes in the climate.