A red flag warning has been issued for parts of the North Bay this weekend for high fire danger due to gusty winds, hot weather and low humidity, according to a statement from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.
The warning runs from 11 a.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Sunday.
During that time residents of northern and eastern Napa and Sonoma counties, as well as the Diablo
Range, can expect any fires that start to spread quickly, leading to significant threats to life and property.
Following the North Bay fires in October 2017, the concern has grown. Several residents of Montecito Heights in Santa Rosa said they are ready.
“Certainly after the fires, there’s a lot more trimming done of the trees,” Bob Sweeny, a resident, said.
“It is a fire hazard here,” James Thomson, another resident, said. “A few years ago we had a fire come up to the backyard.
PG&E is staffing up for possible outages because of the extreme temperatures, according to spokeswoman Deanna Contreras. She said the utility company has extra equipment on hand and staff will be monitoring conditions on the ground from their Wildfire Safety Operations Center in San Francisco.
PG&E recently announced they may proactively shut off power in extreme weather conditions to customers who live in high fire danger areas, but only as a last resort. Customers would receive a notice 48 hours in advance of the shutoff and then again 24 hours before, if possible. She said PG&E did not anticipate proactively shutting off power this weekend.
“Even if we don’t proactively shut off the power, we know especially here in Sonoma County, the high temperatures there could be some outages due to load,” Contreras said. “Due to load issues, we are staffing up and preparing for outages either way.”
If you do live in a high fire danger area, you are encouraged to update your contact information online in your account profile.
Area residents are advised to avoid lawn work, driving on grass, campfires or fireworks. Lit cigarettes should always be disposed of safely.
Elevations over 1,000 feet in the affected area are at the greatest risk, according to sheriff's deputies.
The National Weather Service also issued heat advisories for Napa and Sonoma Counties. Above-average temperatures are expected Saturday with highs in the 90s to 105 degrees.