As snow falls in the Sierra, the valley will be under a Red Flag Warning

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(KTXL) — For Cal Fire Division Chief Jim Hudson and thousands of firefighters up and down California, it might as well be mid-August right now.

“We’ve pre-positioned resources throughout the north state, which include strike teams of engines, helicopters and staffed additional engines here locally within Placer County,” Hudson said.

A helicopter from Humboldt County at the Cal Fire base in Auburn is one example.

Hudson said extra firefighters have been “strategically located in good crossroads along major freeways so they can respond rapidly anywhere.”

Two opposite weather events are happening simultaneously Wednesday. Critically dry and windy conditions will affect the Sacramento region while snow falls over portions of the Sierra.

By Tuesday night, steady snow was already coming down over Donner Summit.

Caught in the middle are foothill communities like Auburn and Colfax, which are included on Pacific Gas and Electric’s latest list of power shut-off locations.

Hills Flat Lumber Co. in Colfax was stocked up with flashlights, generators and customers tired of needing those kinds of things.

“I lost everything, twice,” said Leon, who chose to only provide his first name.

Leon was buying a bag of ice so he did not have to throw out all his food again. He said the outages have cost him hundreds of dollars.

“I’ve been retired for 20 years,” he explained. “I’m on social security. I don’t have hundreds to waste on food, which is not cheap up here.”

According to PG&E, power is sometimes shut off in a neighborhood that is not experiencing wind because that area is connected by power lines to places where the wind is gusty.

But customers like Leon don’t believe it has to be that way.

“When I’ve got a candle burning for three days, a single little candle on my deck, without it ever getting blown out once and the flag just hanging like that,” he said.

In the future, Leon said he wants PG&E to be more diligent about checking its power lines.

“Get out and check the lines before the stuff lands on it and do it on an ongoing basis, winter and summer,” he told FOX40. “if you’ve got people out, have them looking.”


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