Red Flag Fire Danger Conditions Return to Northern California

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SACRAMENTO — The National Weather Service has issued a red flag fire danger warning for a large portion of Northern California, from Shasta County, south to Sacramento County and west to the Bay Area.

The warning is in effect between Wednesday night and Thursday evening.

According to a National Weather Service bulletin, “A combination of gusty wind, low humidity, and very dry fuels will result in critical fire weather.”

California’s five most destructive fires in terms of structures lost, including last year’s devastating Tubbs Fire, have occurred in September or October during similar periods of gusty wind and low humidity.

“You can’t let your guard down,” said Chief Mike Mohler, deputy director of communications for Cal Fire. “When we have a wind-driven fire we’re really fighting that fire on the wind’s terms, on Mother Nature’s terms, until that wind dies. But when you have a wind-driven fire, especially red flag, you have explosive critical rates of spread and fire growth.”

Mohler emphasizes a red flag fire warning should be taken seriously by everyone inside the affected area. Any outdoor activity that could start a fire should be avoided.

Residents should be prepared in case a fire breaks out.

“Your family should have an evacuation plan,” Mohler urged. “Exercise it, talk about it.”

Cal Fire is strategically positioning extra firefighters and equipment in response to the red flag conditions.

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