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Critical fire weather in California this weekend


Latest Update: PG&E is planning a power shutoff Sunday for several areas of Madera County.


California is very hot and very dry right now as strong, gusty winds stoke flames in both the northern and southern ends of the state.

The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County started Wednesday night. It is now more than 25,000 acres and only 10% contained.

Saturday afternoon, evacuation became mandatory all the way to the sea.


Firefighters are slowly gaining more control over the Tick Fire in Los Angeles County. It is some 4,615 acres and 25% contained.

The Taboose Fire is burning in a remote part of the eastern Sierra Nevada. It started from lightning on September 4th and has been inactive in recent days.

The fire remains 10,296 acres and at 75% containment. The western flank is in steep and inaccessible terrain in the John Muir Wilderness. Here the fire will be confined by either rain or snow or its spread will be stopped by rock barriers.
Visitors and residents may see smoke, especially along the Hwy. 395 corridor. Please do not report the smoke. Currently, the south, east, and north flanks are secure and there is no threat to life or property.


Strong, gusty winds in northern and southern California late this week and still to come Sunday and Monday are one reason for more fire development in these parts of the state.

PG&E shut off power to much of northern California to reduce the risk of igniting fires:

A major offshore wind event is expected to unfold this weekend and last into Monday across northern and southern California. Unfortunately, this system will be right on the heels of the most recent event and fuels will be critically dry and receptive for fire. This wind event will not only be the strongest of the year so far, it will also likely be stronger than the October 2017 northern California fire event and has the potential and energy to be the strongest in years. Northern Operations Predictive services is projecting ”an unusually strong 99th percentile” event, and the National Weather Service Bay Area has stated ”this will be a long duration and potentially extreme/historic event across the North Bay”.


A small portion of our area is affected along CA-120 in Mariposa County — a major route into Yosemite National Park.

Anticipation of strong winds has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag Warning for Central California Sunday beginning at noon and continuing through the day Monday. Expect sustained easterly winds of 10-15 mph with gusts of 35 mph in canyons. Dry conditions are expected with humidity possibly down to 5%.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of
strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can
contribute to extreme fire behavior.

I’ll have the latest this evening at 11p.m.

Meteorologist Justin Sacher

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