National Weather Service Extends Red Flag Warning for East Bay Hills
The East Bay Regional Park District is extending the closure of 11 regional parks in the East Bay hills through Wednesday, October 28 at 8 a.m. due to an extended Red Flag Warning anticipating continued high winds gusting to 60-70 mph in the ridgelines which are expected through Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Parks that will remain temporarily closed to the public include Wildcat Canyon, Tilden, Reinhardt Redwood, Roberts, Huckleberry, Sibley, Claremont Canyon, Leona Canyon, Anthony Chabot, Lake Chabot and Kennedy Grove.
The past weekend’s “20-year wind event” caused 14 downed powerlines in or near the closed East Bay hill area parks and 21-45 mph sustained winds in higher elevations. While the parks’ sustained winds were less than the anticipated potential 70 mph impact called by NWS, PGE’s de-energization of these power lines was critical in maintaining safety and not sparking fires from the downed lines. Additional damage to the parks included many fallen trees or tree limbs which park staff are removing to clear roads and trails.
Mount Diablo State Park sustained 94 mph winds at mid-slope in 1925’ elevation, which is like many of the East Bay hill area park peak elevations. Redwood Peak at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is 1600’ elevation and Tilden’s Vollmer Peak is 1908’ elevation, for example.
Over the weekend the Park District did respond to a few fires including a human-initiated bonfire at Crown Beach and a car fire ignited by an oil pan at Chabot staging area on Redwood Road. Park District firefighters also assisted Alameda County Fire in containing a vegetation fire at Eden Canyon Road near Castro Valley.
“The East Bay Regional Park District is following the NWS issuance of the Red Flag Warnings to be extra cautious, especially in the East Bay hills during these wind events,” said Park District Fire Chief Aileen Theile. “We want to protect people from falling trees or limbs. We apologize for the inconvenience to those who want to access these hill area parks, but the public’s safety is our priority.”
For up-to-date information on the closures and reopenings, visit www.ebparks.org.
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor