OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Fire officials are concerned over forecast triple digit temperatures and gusty winds that are expected to increase fire danger this weekend in the Bay Area.
On Tuesday morning, the Bay Area National Weather Service office issued a weekend Fire Weather Watch for portions of the North and East Bay.
Starting Saturday, temperatures are expected to rise to around 100° in some inland areas.
A combination of moderate strength fall offshore winds, warmer temperatures and low humidity forecast for Saturday led to the Fire Weather Watch for the North and East Bay Hills, according to the NWS.
The Fire Weather Watch will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. and run through 8 a.m. Monday morning. While the greatest threat is expected in the North Bay — particularly in the hills of northeast Sonoma County and Napa County above 1,000 feet — parts of the East Bay around Mount Diablo and the East Bay hills as well as the interior valleys along the I-680 corridor, I-580 east of the Altamont and the Highway 4 corridor will also be impacted.
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 22, 2020
The strongest winds are forecast for Saturday night into early Sunday morning with preliminary forecasts calling for wind gusts to around 50 mph in the hills above 1,000 feet.
There is special concern in the hills of Oakland and Berkeley where partiers have been setting off fireworks late at night. Also, on the other side of the tunnel, Contra Costa County authorities are keeping a close eye.
So far, this fire season, they have dodged a bullet. They are hoping to keep it that way.
“The important thing for people to remember is that conditions are ripe for wildfires,” said Steve Hill, spokesman for Contra Costa Fire and Rescue. “We’re only just getting to the part of the season that is typically the most dangerous. It looks like mother nature is coming in right on time this weekend with what looks like fire weather. We need everyone to be alert and to be cautious with all their outdoor activities. And to report those fires absolutely immediately when they notice them to keep them small while they still are small.”
So far, PG&E says it has no plans to shut off power for the Bay Area. However, they may execute a PSPS in other parts of Northern California. Another possible issue: while skies were pretty clear early Wednesday evening, the forecast wind shift this weekend could once again bring smoky skies to the region.