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The Weekend Before the Fourth of July, Red Flag Warning is Particularly Concerning

SACRAMENTO -- Firefighters across much of Northern California are asking people to hold off on yard work, at least for the next few days, as the hot, dry and windy weather has prompted a red flag warning.

The slightest spark could turn into a wildfire much faster than normal.

Fire departments around the region are staffing up for what they anticipate will be a busy weekend.

"The temperatures are high, that the humidity is low and that there could be potential for some significant winds," Metro Fire Captain Brian Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves is cautioning people to wait until after the holiday to mow their lawns or do any type of yard work.

"The potential for kicking up rocks and causing sparks is really high during red flag conditions, and those can cause grass fires to spread, and they do every year," he said.

Another factor that makes this weekend even more dangerous -- fireworks.

Beth Mitchell is already worried about the pops and bangs she hears in her Del Paso Heights neighborhood every night.

"My gosh, just one little spark and things can go up fast, how quick the fire starts and then it just takes off," she said.

Gonsalves says most "Safe and Sane" fireworks lit on pavement are not the biggest problem, it's what people do with them after the show is over.

"Every year we get large structure fires from fireworks that have been put in a plastic container next to a house, and then the house catches fire and causes a lot of damage and we don't want that to happen," Gonsalves said.

The same goes for spent charcoal after a barbecue.

For used fireworks and barbecue ashes, Metro Fire says it's best to put them in a metal bucket first and hose them down before throwing them away.