Both the National Weather Service and Pacific Gas & Electric are casting wary eyes on forecasts for critical weather conditions starting Wednesday in Napa County that threaten peremptory power shutdowns across a wide swath of Northern California.
The National Weather Service issued a Fire Weather Watch, while PG&E said it was activating its Emergency Operations Center to monitor predictions of Diablo winds Wednesday through Thursday.
“Critical fire weather conditions” will likely occur at elevations above 1,000 feet in the North Bay mountains and East Bay hills, the National Weather Service said. Temperatures in Napa will range from the mid- to upper-90s.
Cal Fire is continuing to mop up the Glass Fire that has burned more than 40,000 acres and destroyed 650 homes and commercial buildings in Napa County, with significant destruction in Sonoma County as well. The fire is 95% contained, the agency said.
Late Sunday afternoon, Napa County announced the lifting of more evacuation orders that allowed most residents of Deer Park to return home.
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There were still 196 Napa County households under evacuation orders as of Monday, representing nearly 500 people, Janet Upton, the county’s public information officer said.
The county has warned returning residents not to expect all utilities to be restored. It may take several additional days to restore service to all surviving properties.
Deer Park Road and Sanitarium Road are open to traffic in both directions, the county said. Old Howell Mountain Road, however, remained closed between Deer Park Road and St. Helena city limits.
The Glass Fire broke out in the early hours of Sept. 27 and swept through Deer Park and burned through the heart of the Upvalley wine country. It went on to threaten Angwin, the cities of Calistoga, St. Helena, and Santa Rosa.
As of Sunday morning, the fire had scorched more than 67,000 acres in the two counties and destroyed or seriously damaged hundreds of homes and commercial buildings, including a number of well-known wineries and resorts.