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National Weather Service predicts major wind event Sunday night for Napa County

National Weather Service predicts major wind event Sunday night for Napa County

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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for the entire Bay Area Sunday night when strong gusts similar to those during the 2017 wildfires are expected to sweep over the area.

Winds blowing from east to west late Sunday could be on par with the winds that propelled the 2017 wine country and 2019 Kincade fires, the Weather Service said Friday afternoon.

Winds are likely to peak between 7 p.m. and midnight Sunday, with gusts to 70 mph on the hills appearing likely, the Weather Service said.

The Weather Service warned against “Red Flag fatigue” after two earlier high wind warnings this week did not result in any major wildfires.

A cold, “incredibly dry” air mass will be spreading over the region, which when combined with the high winds will create a high potential for any fire to spread rapidly, the Weather Service said.

Matt Colburn, a Napa city firefighter, said local agencies have prepositioned a strike team that has been patrolling Napa County’s backroads since Monday for signs of smoke or fire.

This patrolling will continue as long as Napa County is under a Red Flag warning, he said.

The strike team includes five extra local government engines ready to respond to any fire within the county, Colburn said in an email.

In addition to the Red Flag warning, the Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch from 11 a.m. Sunday to 11 a.m. Tuesday, and a High Wind Watch from 4 p.m. Sunday until 10 a.m. Monday.

Pacific Gas & Electric is also monitoring the weather ahead. When predicted strong winds didn’t occur Wednesday night, Pacific Gas & Electric canceled the power shutoff planned for Thursday morning for 3,296 Napa County customers.

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