Experts: Windy Week Could be NorCal’s Biggest Wildfire Threat this Year

The National Weather Service has forecasted winds of up to 50 mph this week, causing experts and PG&E to prepare for the worst – the potential of 2019’s worst and most devastating wildfire.

The forecast shows winds Wednesday morning thru midday Thursday, with the highest winds coming in the valley and bringing intense winds to places like Redding and Chico, who saw the most devastating fires of 2018.

The winds and dry conditions have brought a Fire Weather Watch through much of NorCal beginning Tuesday night:

With this forecast, experts believe that Northern California will be experiencing its biggest threat of devastating wildfire this year. Meteorologists and climates scientists took to Twitter to show their fears of this week’s weather.

UCLA Climate Scientist Daniel Swain writes how the mixture of winds with the dry autumn weather could bring extreme wildfire risks:

Meteorologist Rob Mayeda explains how the windy conditions will not only grow any wildfire activity, but limit the abilities of firefighters battling the flames:

The most fearful experts come from PG&E, who have announced a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) to more than 600,000 customers across portions of nearly 30 northern, central, coastal and Bay Area counties.

“This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we’ve seen in our territory in recent years and we want our customers to be prepared for an extended outage that may last several days. Our meteorological and operations teams continue to actively monitor the weather and this evolving situation, and we are working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare our customers and the public for this safety event,” said Michael Lewis, senior vice president, PG&E Electric Operations. “We want our customers to be aware that, based on this number, it could take several days to fully restore power after the weather passes and safety inspections are completed.”

Here is a list of customers that may be impacted by the PG&E power shutoffs:

  • Alameda (32,613) – Oakland, Castro Valley, Fremont, Union City, Berkeley, Hayward, San Leandro, Sunol, Pleasanton, Livermore
  • Alpine (633) – Bear Valley
  • Amador (16,041) – Pioneer, Jackson, Sutter Creek, Pine Grove, Plymouth, Volcano, Fiddletown, River Pines, Amador City, Drytown, Martell, Ione
  • Butte (29,907) – Oroville, Chico, Magalia, Paradise, Berry Creek, Forest Ranch, Palermo, Bangor, Cohasset, Butte Meadows, Clipper Mills, Forbestown, Stirling City, Feather Falls, Biggs, Brush Creek, Yankee Hill, Gridley, Rackerby, Butte Valley, Hurleton, Paradise Pines
  • Calaveras (23,748) – Arnold, Angels Camp, Copperopolis, Murphys, San Andreas, West Point, Mountain Ranch, Mokelumne Hill, Rail Road Flat, Vallecito, Wilseyville, Hathaway Pines, Avery, Glencoe, Douglas Flat, Sheep Ranch, White Pines, Dorrington, Camp Connell, Tamarack, Altaville, Valley Springs
  • Colusa (1,813) – Arbuckle, Stonyford, Williams, Sites, Maxwell
  • Contra Costa (40,219) – San Ramon, Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pinole, Richmond, Kensington, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Berkeley, Canyon, San Pablo, Pittsburg, Rodeo, Concord, Albany, Antioch, Martinez
  • El Dorado (51,284) – Placerville, El Dorado Hills, Pollock Pines, Cameron Park, Camino, Rescue, El Dorado, Somerset, Cool, Shingle Springs, Georgetown, Garden Valley, Diamond Springs, Pilot Hill, Grizzly Flats, Twin Bridges, Greenwood, Kyburz, Lotus, Kelsey, Mount Aukum, Coloma, Pacific House, Fair Play, Omo Ranch, Silver Fork, Canyon, Aukum
  • Glenn (1,590) – Orland, Willows, Artois, Elk Creek, Glenn
  • Lake (26,430) – Clearlake, Lakeport, Clearlake Oaks, Lucerne, Nice, Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Middletown, Kelseyville, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Glenhaven, Witter Springs, Clearlake Park, Loch Lomond
  • Mariposa (1,812) – Coulterville, La Grange, Greeley Hill, Mariposa
  • Mendocino (6,000) – Ukiah, Potter Valley, Hopland, Redwood Valley, Willits, Boonville, Calpella, Talmage, Fort Bragg
  • Napa (32,124) – Napa, Saint Helena, Calistoga, Angwin, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Oakville, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Yountville, American Canyon
  • Nevada (43,217) – Napa, Saint Helena, Calistoga, Angwin, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Oakville, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Yountville, American Canyon
  • Placer (51,641) – Auburn, Lincoln, Loomis, Colfax, Newcastle, Foresthill, Granite Bay, Meadow Vista, Penryn, Rocklin, Applegate, Alta, Dutch Flat, Emigrant Gap, Weimar, Gold Run, Baxter, Roseville, Sheridan, Christian Valley
  • Plumas (803) – La Porte, Quincy, Belden, Storrie, Twain, Bucks Lake, Tobin
  • San Mateo (14,766) – Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Woodside, Moss Beach, Montara, Portola Valley, Pescadero, La Honda, Redwood City, San Gregorio, Loma Mar, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Emerald Hills, Pacifica, Princeton
  • Santa Barbara (32) – Santa Maria
  • Santa Clara (38,123) – San Jose, Morgan Hill, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Redwood Estates, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Coyote, Gilroy, Mount Hamilton, Palo Alto, Holy City
  • Santa Cruz (32,017) – Aptos, Boulder Creek, Watsonville, Scotts Valley, Soquel, Ben Lomond, Felton, Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Mount Hermon, Brookdale, Davenport, Capitola, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, Saratoga, Bonny Doon
  • San Joaquin (52) – Vernalis, Tracy, Stockton, Farmington
  • Shasta (27,960) – Redding, Anderson, Shingletown, Palo Cedro, Cottonwood, Lakehead, Millville, Bella Vista, Oak Run, Whitmore, Igo, Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, Big Bend, Shasta Lake, Ono, Shasta, Burney
  • Sierra (1,165) – Sierra City, Downieville, Alleghany, Goodyears Bar, Pike City
  • Solano (32,862) – Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun City, Vallejo, Dixon
  • Sonoma (66,289) – Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Glen Ellen, Penngrove, Geyserville, Kenwood, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Annapolis, Stewarts Point, Cotati, Cazadero, Guerneville, Larkfield, El Verano, Boyes Hot Springs, Fulton, Bodega Bay
  • Stanislaus (1,088) – Westley, Grayson, Patterson, Oakdale, Knights Ferry, La Grange, Modesto, Riverbank
  • Tehama (24,374) – Red Bluff, Los Molinos, Gerber, Corning, Mineral, Paynes Creek, Manton, Vina, Tehama, Mill Creek, Paskenta, Proberta, Flournoy
  • Tuolumne  (34,413) – Sonora, Groveland, Twain Harte, Jamestown, Tuolumne Mi Wuk Village, Pinecrest, Columbia, Soulsbyville, Long Barn, Strawberry, Chinese Camp, Cold Springs, Moccasin, Big Oak Flat, Sierra Village
  • Yolo (5,791) – Winters, Esparto, Guinda, Capay, Brooks, Madison, Rumsey, Woodland, Davis, Dunnigan, Zamora
  • Yuba (6,919) – Marysville, Browns Valley, Oregon House, Brownsville, Wheatland, Dobbins, Camptonville, Smartville, Challenge, Rackerby, Strawberry Valley, Loma Rica

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