Residents of the hill country in Sonoma and Napa counties and out in the East Bay should brace themselves for more fire weather and possible power shutoffs this weekend as another heatwave shapes up and more Diablo winds are being forecast.
A Fire Weather Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for the North Bay hills, East Bay hills, and interior valleys. Winds of between 35 and 45 miles per hour are possible, with 50 miles per hour possible at higher elevations, meteorologists say, and the Watch extends from 11 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday.
"If confidence increases as an event approaches, these Watches convert to a Red Flag Warning," the NWS explains.
No Red Flag Warning or Public Safety Power Shutoff has been declared as of yet, but these could be coming in the next 48 hours if this forecast holds.
ABC 7 News meteorologist Lisa Argen already warned us that more dangerous fire weather was taking shape alongside this weekend's heatwave. Temperatures will be "maybe 15 to 20 degrees above average, and that means the hills of the North and East Bay could see gusty offshore winds with critical fire weather through the weekend," Argen said.
As KPIX reports, the long-range forecast shows hot, dry weather extending into the middle of next week, with very low humidity.
Residents should not be feeling comfortable with today's news of nearly full or full containment on the three lightning-sparked fires from mid-August. We could be one downed power line or gender-reveal party away from another destructive, massive blaze, and everyone should be on alert this weekend unless you're sticking closer to the coast.
And as we saw with the North Complex Fire two weeks, high wind events like this have the potential to take a nearly contained, smoldering fire and turn it back into a deadly conflagration. The most destructive and deadly portion of the North Complex, called the West Zone of the fire, began on September 7 with a Diablo wind event — three weeks after the original fire began — taking the fire over the county line into Butte County and destroying the small town of Berry Creek.
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