Red Flag warning issued because of gusty winds, low humidity

A red flag warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for Thursday and Friday in the Sacramento Valley and northern San Joaquin Valley due to gusty winds and low humidity. This includes Solano County.

A weather system is passing through northern California to the northeast and it is expected to bring gusty north and east winds to the interior valleys of northern California. 

The red flag warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday to 5 p.m. Friday due to critical fire weather conditions. Meteorologists added that the combination of low relative humidity, high winds and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Winds are forecasted to have gusts of up to 45 miles per hour below an elevation of 1,000 feet with low relative humidity levels of between 5 and 12 percent. 

Winds will increase Thursday morning and will be strongest Thursday evening through Friday morning. The strongest winds will be over the west side of the Sacramento Valley and the foothills of the Coast Range, mainly along, and west of, Interstates 5 and 505.

Lighter winds are expected Saturday, but humidity values will remain in the single digits and teens.

Karen Kemp lives on English Hills Road in Vacaville. Many of her neighbors lost their homes back in 2020 when flames from the LNU lightning complex fires raced into her neighborhood.

Kemp’s home is still standing, but she said that fire changed her. Now, she always tries to be prepared. For example, her husband is constantly maintaining their property.

"He sprays, he weeds, he mows everything down," said Kemp. "So it’s a constant battle.

Chief Howard Wood, with the Vacaville Fire and Protection District said they train year-round. He wants to remind residents to create defensible space, as long as that yard work is done outside the red flag warning.

"They want to do the weed abatement and stuff. This is the wrong time," said Wood. "They say mow before 10 a.m. And that’s a real good guideline."

Because of the fire danger, the city of Fairfield will close the Spyglass Open Space, Rolling Hills Open Space, and the Rockville Hills Regional Park until Saturday.

The red flag warning is set to expire Friday night.

KTVU's Elissa Harrington contributed to this report.