In early May 2021, on the heels of the SCU Lightning Complex and with drought conditions looming, the Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) began flying Fire Weather Flags to signify “Red Flag Warning” periods.  The protocol was developed with the support of Local 1230, CAL FIRE and East Bay Regional Parks, among other surrounding fire agencies.

The purpose of flying the red flags at fire stations is to remind the public that hazardous fire conditions are present and to refrain from activities and behaviors that may inadvertently initiate vegetation fires. These precautions may include:

  • not doing any yard work with combustion engine equipment,
  • taking care in discarding smoking materials,
  • not driving or parking on grassy areas,
  • using caution when cooking with charcoal fires,
  • and additional fire prevention practices.

Flags will be raised at ACFD fire stations when notified by the Battalion Chiefs and/or Division Chief of Operations.  Personnel will hoist the flag under the United States flag, where it will fly for the duration of the Red Flag Warning condition. The position under the United States flag conforms with national and state protocols for flag etiquette. Other flag protocols will be observed, including “half-mast” conditions, when no flag other than the Stars and Stripes would fly.