For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Gil Dong, Assistant Fire Chief, (510) 867-1555

BERKELEY FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FIRES

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, October 23, 2007) - The Berkeley Fire Department, in response to mutual aid requests from Southern California, sent two engine companies and eight personnel to the Los Angeles County Area.

The Department will maintain full staffing at all seven fire stations by recalling personnel to cover those sent to assist.

“The City of Berkeley and Berkeley Fire Department empathize with what residents of Southern California are now facing, and we are committed to provide unprecedented support by sending these necessary resources,” said Fire Chief Debra Pryor.

Thirteen fires in seven different counties are threatening homes and commercial structures. Red flag conditions with Santa Ana winds are expected to last until 4 p.m. Wednesday, making firefighting efforts difficult and dangerous.

Many of the fires that spread from Santa Barbara to San Diego and East to San Bernardino Counties are not expected to be contained until October 31. The fires have been fueled by drought conditions and Santa Ana winds recorded as high as 106 mph.

The Bay Area was fortunate to receive more than an inch of rain during the past week, lessening the fire danger. Weather forecasts in the Bay Area call for warmer temperatures in the next several days, but with no red flag conditions.

Sixteen years ago on October 20, 1991, the Berkeley-Oakland Firestorm occurred and resulted in the destruction of over 3,000 homes and 25 deaths.

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