Busy weekend of fires is evidence of early season, says firefighters

Firefighters kept busy Mother's Day weekend all over the Bay Area.

Small grass fires popped up throughout the region as a red flag warning stayed in effect. It was originally set to expire early Monday morning, but the National Weather Service extended the warning until Tuesday evening.

"You don't need to see the red flags or the statistics to know that the grass is getting dry," said Mike Brown, division chief for the Benicia Fire Department. "A lack of rain and winds that's going to dry those light grasses quicker."

The department helped contain a 50-acre fire near the Benicia-Cordelia border along Lopes Road.CAL Fire is now investigating the cause though firefighter believe it was likely started by a lawn mower.

"A 50-acre fire doesn't match up to the big ones that we hear about throught the state," said Brown. "But for a small agency like we are and neighboring agencies, 50 acres takes a lot to control that."

Overall, it was an active weekend in the North Bay. According to CAL Fire LNU, which covers Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties, firefighters responded to 15 vegetation fires, burning a total of about 60.6 acres.

In the South Bay, Santa Clara County Fire contained a car fire along Highway 17 to just a quarter of an acre Saturday. A spokesperson say previously, the department created a fire break between the road and the woods before the flames burst.

"That fuel break slowed the fire down and allowed our crew to get a hole of it and keep it to a quarter acre," said Luisa Rapport, spokesperson from Santa Clara County's fire department.

She says to treat a red flag warning as if you should prepare to evacuate for an emergency. At the same time, fire officials urge you to do your part by keeping yourself safe and preventing the next fire,

"Things in your backyard like your barbecues, outdoor fire pits, things like that, that's not the right time to be using those," said Brown.