73°
Cloudy
WED
 79°
 62°
THU
 76°
 56°
FRI
 82°
 54°
SAT
 79°
 55°
SUN
 79°
 54°

Dozens of extra state firefighters already busy in Northern California counties (w/video)

As of Monday, 80 additional firefighters were on duty at state forestry stations in six northern California counties, including Sonoma, Lake and Napa. Dozens more firefighters have already been brought back since late winter due to the drought.

In another early sign of the higher fire danger, state officials have already started staffing a number of firefighting helicopters.

Staffing for two air tankers and an air attack spotter plane based at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport could come May 12. That's four to six weeks early, Head said.

Gov. Jerry Brown's drought declaration resulted in added funding for the seasonal hires and other ramped-up efforts.

Recent rains and the green hues on area hillsides have masked a landscape parched by three years of drought, Head said.

This week's heat will most likely fade some of the emerald color.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Diana Henderson Tuesday said the end of the week will feel vastly different than mid week.

"It's a short-lived bump in the temperature gauge," Henderson said.

Saturday temperatures in the North Bay are forecast to be in the low 70s or high 60s. By Monday, Santa Rosa could be 67 degrees, with cloudy skies and a remote possibility of rain.

Tuesday afternoon, the Cazadero fire was being held to about a half of an acre. It started as a control burn that got away from its minder, officials said.


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