The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for much of Northern California, including part of Sacramento County, as high winds are set to increase fire danger Monday through Wednesday.
Forecasters predicted high winds in the region, with gusts reaching 40 miles per hour in the Sacramento Valley and along the North Coast, while those in the Sierra Nevada foothills could reach 50 miles per hour.
“Building high pressure will result in gusty north to east wind developing Monday and persisting into early Wednesday,” the weather service said in its red flag warning. “Combined with warming temperatures and lowering humidity, this will result in critical fire weather conditions across portions of Interior Northern California.”
The risk of wildfires starting during the red flag period was also increased due to daytime humidities between 10% and 20% and overnight levels of 30% to 40%, the weather service said.
Temperatures in the Valley are expected to reach the middle to upper 90s by Tuesday, but a cooling trend will be coming Thursday to ease the risk of fires, according to the weather service.
The western Sacramento Valley faces the worst conditions and the highest wildfire risk levels, the weather service said, and any fires that start in the next few days are likely to spread rapidly.
The weather service’s previously issued fire weather watch was upgraded shortly after Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Saturday that it may pre-emptively shut off power in the region.
As many as 67,000 PG&E customers in Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sutter and Yuba counties could be affected by a power shutoff.