Wildfire Preparedness & Red Flag Warnings
The Gilroy Fire Department issues Red Flag Warnings to alert the community of the onset or possible onset of critical weather and dry conditions, which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours. During these times, extreme caution is urged by all residents because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire.
The type of weather patterns that can cause a warning include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of lightning strikes, or any combination of the above.
During heightened fire danger, the Gilroy Fire Department will place additional firefighters on duty, staff more fire engines, and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to respond to any new fires. The Gilroy Fire Department urges the community to be extremely cautious, especially during periods of high fire danger. It's important that all residents and visitors take steps to prevent wildfires. One less spark could mean one less wildfire. See below for tips on preventing wildfires.
Wildland Urban Interface Areas
Residents in high fire risk areas known as Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas should prepare for wildfires by maintaining adequate defensible space on your property and by hardening your home. Visit sccfd.org for wildfire preparedness information. Residents in WUI areas should also prepare by having a pre-evacuation plan and be ready to evacuate if a wildfire occurs in your area and emergency officials order you to leave.
Opt-in to receive emergency notifications from the City, including Red Flag Warnings, by texting your zip code to 888777 or visiting nixle.com. Red Flag Warnings will also be posted to the City website and other emergency communication channels. In addition, during a Red Flag Warning period, each Gilroy fire station will fly a red flag to alert the community of the increased risk and need for extreme caution.
Opt-in to receive emergency notifications from CalFire and Santa Clara County by signing up for AlertSCC at AlertSCC.com.
One Less Spark – One Less Wildfire: A few helpful reminders and safety tips:
Equipment Use Safety:
- Never mow or trim dry grass on a Red Flag Warning Day. (Mow before 10 a.m. on a day when it's not hot and windy).
- Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation.
- Spark arresters are required in wildland areas on all portable gasoline-powered equipment.
- Before starting a campfire, make sure you have a campfire permit and that they are permitted on the land you are visiting.
- Afterward, ensure that your campfire is properly extinguished.
- Residents should make sure they have 100 feet of defensible space around structures.
- Clear dead weeds and vegetation.
- Remove leaves and needles from gutters.
- Trim branches 6 feet from the ground.
- Never pull over in dry grass.
- Ensure trailer chains don't drag on the ground.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
- Have proper tire pressure to avoid driving on wheel rim.
- Never let your brake pads wear too thin.
- Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.
- Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on NO Burn Days or when it's windy or areas where not allowed.
- Target shoot only in approved areas and never at metal targets.
- Report any suspicious activities to prevent arson.