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Red flag weather warning for higher fire risk announced for North Bay hills, starting Sunday night

Red flag weather warning for higher fire risk announced for North Bay hills, starting Sunday night

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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning from 11 p.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday for dry offshore winds expected to increase wildfire risk in hilly areas of the North Bay and East Bay, as well as East Bay interior valleys.

A Red Flag warning indicates critical fire weather conditions — a mix of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures — are either occurring now or will arrive shortly. Any fire starts would likely spread rapidly due to dry fuel, low humidity and gusty winds in areas that did not receive wetting rains from Saturday morning onward.

Winds are forecast to push from the north into the Napa Valley hills late Sunday night before gradually spreading over the North Bay and East Bay hill areas, according to the weather service. While the initial burst of winds is expected when conditions are relatively moist, they will begin a rapid drying with humidity levels quickly falling by Monday morning and dipping below 20%.

Wind speeds out of the northwest are predicted to measure 10 to 20 mph, with gusts reaching 40 mph and as much as 50 mph at the highest peaks.

Elevated areas of Napa County and the East Bay are considered the areas of highest concern.

Offshore winds will ease by sunset Monday, according to the weather service. Little to no humidity is expected to return into Tuesday morning, but only light offshore winds are expected.

The Red Flag warning follows the announcement by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. of a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff starting Monday, due to the combination of dry vegetation and expected winds. The utility on Saturday sent advance notification to about 14,000 utility customers in parts of 13 counties, including 1,584 customers in Napa County, who could be affected by a PSPS.

PG&E customers can look up their addresses online to learn if their locations are being monitored for a potential power cutoff at pge.com/pspsupdates

When a wildfire is burning, you most likely won’t have a lot of time to evacuate. Follow these tips to help you and your family leave safely and quickly.

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