(KTXL) — A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Greater Lake Tahoe and Truckee area until early Tuesday morning.
The warning was issued just before 4 a.m. Monday and is expected to last through 5 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service announced.
“The combination of gusty winds and low humidity can cause fires to rapidly grow in size and intensity before first responders can contain them,” the NWS said.
The warning area includes portions of the Caldor Fire still burning in the Eldorado National Forest.
“We’re looking at southwest winds gusting 40 to 50 miles per hour over much of the fire, with gusts potentially up to sixty miles per hour over the highest peaks,” said Caldor Fire Incident Meteorologist Shawn Palmquist.
On a positive note, winds are moving in with a weather system that will bring some overnight rain to the Sierra.
“Now, we’re not looking at a lot of precipitation as this looks to be a fairly dry system. But we could see a tenth of an inch or less over the fire area. Behind the front, we’re looking at much calmer winds and cooler conditions for Tuesday,” Palmquist said.
Talking about extreme fire danger on a cool night can seem odd, but Northern California has experienced devastating fires during the fall season.
One year ago, the Glass Fire broke out and burned more than 67,000 acres. It also destroyed more than 1,500 structures in Napa and Sonoma counties over a period of three weeks.
The key to success, right now, in the high Sierra will be getting through the night without any new fires erupting during the period of dry winds before the showers arrive.