Dry, Windy Weather Sparks New California Wildfire Concerns

More planned power cuts from PG&E

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Northern California faced red flag warnings of extreme fire danger Thursday as dry, gusty weather returned to an area already scarred by massive and deadly blazes.

The National Weather Service issued warnings Wednesday night into Friday, predicting low humidity and winds up to 40 mph at times in the mountains, valleys and coastal areas of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento region and the Sierras.

Pacific Gas & Electric had warned that it planned to cut electricity overnight to about 37,000 customers in parts of 15 northern counties to prevent wind-blown wires from sparking and igniting fires. The outages were expected to last through Friday morning.

See also  11 Still Missing after Deadly California Wildfire

More than 10,000 of those customers were in Butte County north of Sacramento. The rural county has been hit by several major fires in recent years. PG&E’s equipment was blamed for sparking one in 2018 that killed 85 people and destroyed much of the town of Paradise.

Nearly 18,500 customers were expected to be affected in Shasta County, farther north.

PG&E cut power to 41,000 customers during similar conditions last week. No major new fires were reported. The utility said post-shutoff inspections found at least 30 instances of weather-related damage or hazards to electrical equipment.

The new round of shutoffs, though relatively restricted, exasperated some people.

See also  Wildfire Spotting Network Grows to 610 Cameras in California

“I’m not the whining type but there’s nothing else to do but complain,” said Bill Fletcher as he filled up a gas can to fuel a generator for his east Napa County home.

He was preparing for a public safety power shutoff, or PSPS.

“PSBS, that’s what I think of it,” Fletcher told KGO-TV.

Meanwhile, Southern California continued a cooling trend with low clouds and fog pressing in from the coast and the region might even see light rain or drizzle from Friday into the weekend.

More 8,600 wildfires have scorched thousands of square miles of land this year and killed 31 people. Many of the worst blazes have occurred since mid-August but the majority have been fully or significantly contained.

See also  Oregon Wildfire Causes Evacuations in Prime Eclipse Zone

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Topics

More planned power cuts from PG&E     SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Northern California faced red flag warnings of extreme fire danger Thursday as dry, gusty weather returned to an area already scarred by massive and deadly blazes. The National Weather Service issued warnings Wednesday night into Friday, predicting low humidity and winds up to […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Fire Near Neah Bay (WA) Prompts Evacuations, School Closures

Fire Near Neah Bay (WA) Prompts Evacuations, School Closures

NEAH BAY, Wash. (AP) — A wildfire at the far northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula prompted more than 100 people to evacuate neighborhoods in Neah Bay on Thursday, and nearby schools have closed. The fire is burning on the remote Makah Indian reservation near...

Wildfire Burns Part of Southern OH Wayne National Forest

Wildfire Burns Part of Southern OH Wayne National Forest

PEDRO, Ohio (AP) — Officials say a 1,300-acre wildfire in Wayne National Forest in far southern Ohio began with multiple small wildfires earlier this week. A statement Thursday from Wayne National Forest said firefighters were working to contain the blaze and urged...