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'Red Flag' Fire Warning in East Bay Hills

The National Weather Service Thursday issued a Red Flag Warning of critical fire hazards in the East Bay hills and other high elevations around the Bay Area.

By Charles Burress

Gusty winds combined with low humidity and dry conditions fromthe drought prompted the National Weather Service today, Thursday, to issue a "Red Flag Warning" for mountains and hills in the Bay Area, including the East Bay hills.

A Red Flag Warning is issued whenever the danger of fire reaches a critical level. The warning is due to expire at 1 p.m., Friday, the weather agency said.

"The combination of dry fuels, gusty winds and low humidity will create critical fire weather conditions where any new ignitions will experience rapid fire growth," the weather service said.

In related news, the agency said the record high for the day in downtown Oakland tied its existing record of 72, making today the 11th day in a row that high temperature records have been broken or tied in the greater Bay Area.

Downtown Oakland – one of eight reporting stations in the East Bay – also broke its Tuesday and Wednesday reaching 71 and 75 respectively. On Thursday last week, Oakland downtown set a new record for the entire month of January – 78.

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