SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – A Red Flag Warning has been issued for fire-weary North Bay communities on Monday, as forecasters predict bursts of gusty offshore winds, along with continued dry conditions.
The National Weather Service said the warning is in effect for the North Bay Mountains in Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties from 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday at 8 a.m. Officials said the highest threat include the mountains of Napa County and northeastern Sonoma County.READ MORE: Home Of First Lesbian Couple To Legally Marry In San Francisco Gets Landmark Status
Winds are expected to come in from north the northeast from 10 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph. Stronger winds are possible during the overnight hours and along the higher ridges and peaks.
Fire Weather Watch has been upgraded to a🚒🔥Red Flag Warning🚒🔥
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 19, 2020
Meanwhile, humidity levels will also be low, with daytime levels in the 20 to 30 percent range.READ MORE: San Francisco Students, Parents Protest Racial Profiling of Black 5th Grader at Castro Safeway
“These weather conditions, in combination with very dry fuels, will result in an increased risk of new wildfire starts and rapid wildfire spread,” the Weather Service said in a statement.
The Red Flag Warning replaces a Fire Weather Watch for the North Bay issued earlier in the day.
Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed concern about the ongoing risk of wildfires at his Monday briefing on the state’s COVID-19 response. “We anticipate those conditions (red flag) to return again later this week as early as tomorrow evening. We will see some winds whipping back up in Northern California…” the governor said.
“The next eight days based upon our briefings — around the northern part of the state — we expect temperatures to not be as high as they have been in the past, but the humidity levels are concerning and the winds whipping back up will put a lot of pressure on again doubling down on our prepositioning strategies and prevention strategies,” Newsom went on to say.
The latest warning comes as North Bay communities have dealt with multiple massive wildfires and corresponding evacuations in the last few weeks, from the LNU Lightning Complex wildfires that were sparked in mid-August to the Glass Fire that was sparked late last month. Along with wildfires, thousands of people have also dealt with Public Safety Power Shutoffs from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. over the risk of wildfires, the latest taking place last week.
While the Red Flag Warning is set to expire Wednesday morning, a Fire Weather Watch has also been issued for the North Bay Mountains, East Bay Hills and Santa Cruz Mountains from Wednesday evening through Friday morning.MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Fatal Shooting In East Palo Alto
Officials predict winds could again pick up, with gusts reaching 40 mph, during the latter half of the week.