Winds, dryness raise fire concerns in Northern California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gusty winds, low humidity and drying vegetation will bring fire danger to a large swath of the Northern California interior this week, forecasters said Wednesday.
A fire weather watch will be in effect from Thursday morning through Friday evening, the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office said.
Forecasters said gusty north and east winds will be caused by a weather system passing to the east. The winds will begin increasing Thursday morning and peak from Thursday night into Friday afternoon.
The strongest winds were forecast for the west side of the Sacramento Valley and the coastal range foothills.
California has already experienced damaging wildfires this year, including a 200-acre (81-hectare) blaze that destroyed 20 homes and damaged 11 others in Laguna Niguel last week. It was declared fully contained on Tuesday.
In Los Angeles, a fire that erupted on brushy slopes below Griffith Observatory was stopped after scorching 6 acres (2.4 hectares) Tuesday afternoon.
“California continues to experience longer wildfire seasons as a direct result of climate change,” Cal Fire’s 2022 outlook said, citing dryness that extended from January into spring.
“These continued dry conditions with above normal temperatures through spring will leave fuel moisture levels lower than normal increasing the potential for wildland fire activity,” it said.