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Fire Weather Watch upgraded to Red Flag Warning
(Graphic by Solano NewsNet)
Forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Sacramento have upgraded a Fire Weather Watch originally scheduled to begin this evening to a Red Flag Warning.
The upgrade means forecasters are confident that a combination of high wind and dry conditions will contribute to ongoing vegetation fire and wildfire threats.
The Red Flag Warning covers large parts of the Sacramento Valley, including northern areas of Solano County. Communities covered by the Red Flag Warning include the cities of Dixon, Vacaville and Winters, and the unincorporated parts of Solano and Yolo counties near those areas.
The warning period starts Wednesday evening at 11 p.m. and lasts until Thursday evening at 5 p.m.
Northerly sustained wind between 15 and 25 miles per hour are expected tonight, with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. Minimum relative humidity between 17 and 25 percent is expected.
What to do during a Fire Weather Watch or Red Flag Warning
Residents and businesses should take several steps to ensure they are protected before a significant wildfire event.
Forecasters say residents and businesses should generally avoid mowing lawns or doing other kinds of landscape maintenance, especially with high-power outdoor machinery, as sparks from those machines could start vegetation fires that balloon during watch and warning periods.
Drivers should never dispose of cigarettes or cigarette butts by throwing them out the window of a vehicle, but they should work especially hard to avoid this behavior, because even cigarette butts that are believed to be extinguished could still ignite dry vegetation along the road. (Drivers who are connected to these fires could be fined or, in some cases, criminally charged.)
Camp fires and bonfires should be watched carefully, and all fires should be extinguished fully. Outdoor burning is not recommended, and local regulations could even prohibit them, even with no fire-related watch or warning in place.
Should a vegetation fire or wildfire start, residents and businesses should monitor local authorities and the news media for reliable information, including evacuation notices.
County-related emergency notifications are available by phone call, text message and e-mail through Alert Solano, which requires free registration. Monitor reliable local media outlets like Solano NewsNet for up-to-the-minute information on emergency situations.
Will the power go out during this Fire Weather Watch?
The Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has issued warnings of a planned safety power shutoff (PSPS) event impacting some residential and business customers in the Sacramento Valley due to the ongoing threat brought on by fire weather.
PG&E says some customers in Colusa, Lake, Napa and Yolo counties may temporarily lose electrical service on Thursday due to upcoming wildfire threats from anticipated high wind and dry conditions.
In Yolo County, around 10 customers north of Highway 16 between Capay and Brooks could lose electrical service starting Thursday at 5 a.m. Service is expected to be restored by 6 p.m., but could be turned on earlier, depending on weather conditions.
No PSPS events are forecasted for Solano County.
What’s with all that smoke?
Much of the Sacramento Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area was blanketed with a light haze that turned thicker and more acrid over the evening, with forecasters attributing the conditions to smoke wafting in from wildfires burning in Oregon and northwestern California.
Emergency officials with the state firefighting agency CAL FIRE affirmed there were no active wildfires generating smoke in Solano County and nearby areas as of Tuesday evening.