‘A 20-year wind event’ will hit the Bay Area on Sunday, prompting the closure of 11 parks

The National Weather Service is warning that critical to extreme fire conditions will hit parts of Northern California starting Sunday, prompting the East Bay Regional Park District to announce it will close 11 local parks from Sunday, Oct. 25, through Monday, Oct. 26.

The following parks will be closed:

  • Anthony Chabot Regional Park (including Anthony Chabot campground)
  • Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
  • Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve
  • Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area
  • Lake Chabot Regional Park
  • Leona Canyon Open Space Regional Preserve
  • Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
  • Roberts Regional Recreation Area
  • Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
  • Tilden Regional Park
  • Wildcat Canyon Regional Park (including Alvarado Park)

The district warned that a “20-year wind event” is expected to hit the Bay Area starting Sunday. “Fire danger will be extreme due to expected high winds, low humidity, and dry vegetation,” read the release. “High winds also cause falling trees and branches, which can cause injury.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch from Sunday at 4 p.m. to Monday at 10 a.m. for the North and East Bay, as well as the Peninsula and Coast, Bay Shoreline, Santa Clara Valley and Santa Cruz County.

Residents are advised not to enter any East Bay Regional Parks during the closure. Anyone entering parks will be subject to citation or arrest.

High fire risk and social distancing have closed local parks several times this year. The park district closed 10 of its parks on Oct. 14, and most of its parks in late August as wildfires burned across much of the state. The popular Point Isabel dog park was closed in April and June to comply with state and county shelter-in-place orders.

Turnouts along Grizzly Peak Boulevard have also been blocked off in a multi-jurisdictional effort to prevent people from gathering and setting off fireworks during fire season. Berkeley, Oakland and UC Berkeley responded to resident complaints of risky activity at the popular overlook in September and have placed tape, barriers and signs preventing visitors from congregating at the vista spots.