KPIX 5 Morning Weather Anchor Roberta Gonzales answers the questions you never get to ask on-air.
We began our Monday with a fire. A wildfire.READ MORE: Police Officers Denied Service At San Francisco Restaurant Triggering Social Media Debate
Q: Is year-round wildfire risk the new reality in the Bay Area?
A: This morning, in the pre-dawn hours, a grass fire scorched 5 acres in Pacifica, causing the evacuation of 80 to 90 homes. Offshore Northeast erratic winds fueled the blaze, making it difficult for Firefighters to knock down the fire.
For the past several days, residents in Pacifica have been buffeted by 30 and 40 mph wind gusts. Longtime resident Erik Simonson explains, “these winds are the opposite of summertime. They pick up late night and early morning.READ MORE: Long Lines Form Outside San Mateo Event Center COVID-19 Vaccination Site
As the Central Valley cools, the cold tule fog air creeps towards the San Francisco Bay and ocean where it is warmer. The cold air pools in the Central Bay, then spills through the gaps and canyons and accelerates through the process. In turn, the wind wicks moisture from the ground. A National Weather Service weather Station near Pacifica reported fuel moisture in the single digit percentage range at 8 to 9%. That means the ground is extremely dry.
Firefighters have been telling me for the last year, “There is no more fire season. Due to the lack of rain, Fire season is all year in the Bay Area.”
This morning’s wildfire was a grim reminder of how conditions are ideal for fire ignition. There is an elevated risk of explosive fire growth when the Bay Area experiences low humidity, gusty winds and low fuel moisture.
While subtropical moisture will bring higher humidity and a slight chance of rain showers Tuesday, the bottom line is, the Bay Area will end the month of January with one of the driest January’s on record. We all must remain vigilant on protecting property year- round and be diligent on conserving water, as the drought continues in California.MORE NEWS: Late Rally Fizzles, Warriors Fall to Spurs 112-107
I would love to hear from you! Please send weather questions, observations and photos to me, Gonzales@kpix.cbs.com and I look forward to hearing from you!