Even before a Red Flag Warning had fully taken effect in Sonoma County, wind-blown flare-ups in the area of the Walbridge Fire — which was 95-percent contained as of Monday morning — prompted new evacuation orders Monday night for fire-weary residents who only recently returned home.
Flare-ups in the fire zone began occurring after 8 p.m. near Westside Road and Sweetwater Springs Road, southwest of Healdsburg. As KPIX reports, the new evacuation order covers all residents south of Mill Creek Road — where significant fire damage has already occurred — north of Sweetwater Springs Road, west of Westside Road, and east of Palmer Creek Road. Evacuation warnings were issued for the community of Rio Nido north of the Russian River, and the area east of Armstrong Woods Road, west of Westside Road, and south of Sweetwater Springs Road.
Time lapse showing the flare up at the Walbridge Fire in Sonoma County. An Evacuation Order has been issued for zone 2 E 4. See @sonomasheriff for more details https://t.co/L1oeE2zojK pic.twitter.com/LmvbThPSn3— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 8, 2020
If you are in Zone 2E4 EVACUATE NOW. If you are in Zone 1D5 be prepared to evacuate. pic.twitter.com/k8V5CFzG64— Sonoma County Scanner Updates (@SonomaScanner) September 8, 2020
The North Bay and other parts of the Bay Area have been warned to brace for major gusts of wind overnight into Tuesday, and continuing into Wednesday, with a Red Flag Warning that covers the majority of the Bay Area as well as states to the north and east of us. The forecasted dry and windy conditions will be impacting 22 counties in California on Tuesday, as Bay City News reports, and tens of thousands of people in the North Bay will be without power for about 36 to 48 hours according to PG&E estimates.
At least 17,000 PG&E customers in Sonoma have been warned of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) beginning around 11 p.m. on Monday, and extending into Wednesday evening. In Napa County, the areas of Deer Park, Angwin, Calistoga, Aetna Springs, Berryessa Estates, the eastern slopes above St. Helena — all of which have already experienced nearby lightning-caused fires in recent weeks — are likely to be without power.
Gusts are expected up to around 50 miles per hour at ridge tops, and this is the first major Diablo Wind event of the 2020 season.
PG&E customers who aren't already receiving alerts can go here to check and see if they are going to be effected, or to check when the power might come back on.
The radar map below from the National Weather Service shows where the highest wind gusts are expected to occur on Tuesday.
The first significant offshore wind event of the season will begin tonight and persist into Wednesday timeframe.— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 7, 2020
The period of strongest wind is expected to occur around sunrise Tuesday. Here's a look at the peak wind gusts expected round that time. pic.twitter.com/si8EF98LAp