FAIRFIELD — The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory starting at 10 a.m. Thursday and running until 10 p.m., with gusts up to 55 mph in parts of Northern California and increased fire danger as a result.
According to the wind advisory, the weather service is expecting strong north and northeast winds through the Sacramento Valley, the western Sierra as well as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Carquinez Strait.
A quick-moving storm was expected to move through the northern reaches of the state and the resulting high pressure to the north and east will boost the winds farther south, the weather service said on its website. The northeast winds are expected to average 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph in some areas. Winds are expected to start early Thursday and peak midmorning.
The weather service warned that gusty winds can make driving more difficult in the lower elevations and that blowing snow can reduce visibility at higher elevations.
Along with the wind advisory came a warning of extreme fire danger from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Strong winds create dry conditions ideal for sparking wildfires. With the increased fire danger, Cal Fire is upping its staffing levels, the department said Wednesday in a news release.
“The forecast high winds coupled with the extremely dry weather and vegetation highlight the fact that conditions exist for large fire potential year-round in California,” Ken Pimlott, director of Cal Fire, said in the release. “We’ve staffed additional equipment and are holding personnel on duty to address this increased threat. Don’t let the calendar fool you; with the dry weather, the public needs to understand that the fire threat still exists in many areas of the state and that everyone must take extra precautions to prevent sparking a wildfire.”
Along with other agencies, Cal Fire is staffing additional wildland fire engines, bulldozers, fire crews and aircraft, the release states.
The agency offered assurances that the additional resources would be distributed in areas likely to be affected by a fast-moving, wind-driven blaze. Cal Fire also provided some tips to avoid sparking a wildfire:
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.