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Wind Not A Factor In Bear Fire, Yet

Erika Mahoney
Smoke from the Bear Fire lingers over the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Wind has not been a factor in the Bear Fire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Highway 9 and the Lexington Reservoir. 

Brian Garcia has been providing weather support to crews on the fire.  He is Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service. 

“I don’t expect them (winds) to be a factor over the next day at least.  However if we get into later Wednesday into Thursday and the fire is still going we could see some southerly winds come up.  Even light winds create big problems for fires like this,” says Garcia.

The Bear Fire has slowly grown to 200 acres since a house fire triggered it around 10:30pm Monday.  The fire destroyed four structures and still threatens 150 homes.  It’s 5% contained.

The Central Coast, like much of California, has spent the whole summer drying out as we wait for winter rains.  Rain is in the forecast Thursday night into Friday, but Garcia says it may bypass this area.  

“This is peak fire season for Central California, especially.  So people need to be acutely aware of what they’re doing and how their actions could impact directly the lives and livelihoods of those around them,” says Garcia. 

“You might want to think twice about that campfire.  If you are towing something, really tighten up those safety chains.  Don’t let them spark.  Any little spark is going to set a fire right now.”

CalFire says a cigarette caused the York Fire just outside of Monterey on Sunday.  That fire burned 31 acres of vegetation.

Krista joined KAZU in 2007. She is an award winning journalist with more than a decade of broadcast experience. Her stories have won regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and honors from the Northern California Radio and Television News Directors Association. Prior to working at KAZU, Krista reported in Sacramento for Capital Public Radio and at television stations in Iowa. Like KAZU listeners, Krista appreciates the in-depth, long form stories that are unique to public radio. She's pleased to continue that tradition in the Monterey Bay Area.
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