OC Fire Watch
Wildfires are more likely to occur and spread during Red Flag conditions, when strong winds are accompanied by low humidity levels and high temperatures. OC Fire Watch will increase public awareness of the fire dangers by raising red “Fire Alert” flags at OC Parks and other County facilities, as well as at Orange County Fire Authority fire stations and participating City Halls throughout Orange County.
The program will also incorporate fire watch volunteers to help monitor the County’s wilderness parks, which are especially vulnerable to fire during Red Flag conditions. OC Parks and OCFA will raise Fire Alert flags at their respective facilities during designated Red Flag conditions, which will be based on CALFIRE advisories.
- Red Flag Conditions
- Motorist Safety Tips
- Toll Roads
- Learn about new opportunities with the OC Fire Watch Volunteer Program.
- Sign up to volunteer for the OC Fire Watch.
- Read the OC Fire Watch launch press release.
- Download the OC Fire Watch Information Sheet.
- Check out an OC Parks fire alert map.
- Access the general OC Fire Watch volunteer registration process.
- Prepare for wildfires before they happen with tips from ReadyOC.
- Watch OC Fire Authority’s Ready! Set! Go! video.
- Download motorist tips handout from The Transportation Corridor Agencies.
If the wind speeds are sufficient (25 mph or more) and the humidity levels low enough (less than 15%), this potentially dangerous combination actually prompts an official readiness response called the “Red Flag Program.”
Red Flag conditions typically have four progressive stages that are intended to reduce response time to absolute minimums. However, please note that, Stage IV (Cancellation) may occur at any time.
- STAGE I: Fire Weather Watch –
usually 48 to 72 hours in advance of a Red Flag Alert.
- STAGE II: Red Flag Warning –
usually 24 hours in advance of a Red Flag Alert.
- STAGE III: Red Flag Alert
- STAGE IV: Cancellation
- Complete general volunteer application online and select “OC Fire Watch” in Affiliation section.
- Print and sign OC Fire Watch Guidelines and Provisions agreement. Send to OC Parks Volunteer Services (mail: 1770 N Broadway, 4th Fl, Santa Ana, CA 92706-2606; or fax 714-667-6519).
- Attend one Program Orientation Meeting (approx. two hours) conducted by OC Parks
- Attend one OC Fire Watch Training Session (approx. two hours) conducted by the Orange County Fire Authority
- Upon acceptance, review welcome e-mail instructions to receive volunteer materials.
Follow these tips when driving:
- Don’t pull over to the side of the road unless absolutely necessary, especially onto dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you won’t see, until it’s too late!
- Don’t smoke when driving and never throw a lit cigarette or burning match out of a car.
- No sparks! Sparks from dragging equipment on vehicles or faulty catalytic converters, especially on older trucks on uphill grades, ignite fires. Make vehicle safety upgrades as needed.
- Report suspicious activity to the OC Fire Authority Arson Tip Line at 1-800-540-8282. Keep a cell phone nearby and call 911 immediately in case of a fire. Many wildland fires are caused by arson.
During Red Flag Alerts, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) will:
OC Fire Watch Contacts
Arson Tip Line
OC Parks Volunteer Services Coordinator
1501 East St Andrew Pl, 1st FL, Santa Ana, CA 92705
OC Parks Volunteer Support
1770 N Broadway, 4th Fl, Santa Ana, CA 92706-2606