Wildfires have been posing constant dangers to Bay Area residents; recent wildfires have displaced thousands of residents throughout California. Now, many Northern California communities have been warned that high winds and low humidity could cause wildfires in the coming days. As of Friday, some communities were under a “Red Flag Warning”, the most severe type of wildfire warning.
The strongest wind gusts were atop Mount Diablo in the East Bay and Mount St. Helena in the North Bay, with recorded winds up to 72 mph. These mountains have grassy hills and dry wooded areas, which are especially dry due to California’s drought. The offshore northeasterly winds, named Diablo Winds, are blowing through these fields and creating a critical fire risk.
These winds blow hot air from the coast’s interior, and according to the National Weather Service, they are expected to cause humidity levels to decrease by up to 8 percent during the day. This phenomenon is known as a “shortwave” weather system. In this case, the shortwave system could move quickly and spread fires.
With a lack of regular precipitation, dry vegetation is a breeding ground for wildfires. Residents in these areas should follow basic fire safety tips such as:
- Creating a family emergency plan.
- Clearing surrounding vegetation and debris from your property.
- Contacting your local planning and zoning office to understand local fire risks and evacuation routes.
- Obtaining fire insurance.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for elevations above 1,000 feet in the East and North Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
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