Howling Winds Bring Critical Wildfire Conditions Throughout NorCal, PG&E Power Shutdowns Ensue
While firefighters continue to battle multiple historic wildfires in Northern California, Tuesday’s heavy winds could create a dangerous problem for fire officials and residents. The winds will surely fuel the dangerous fires and PG&E has already begun power shutdowns to 172,000 homes and businesses in NorCal.
The winds are mostly prevalent along the Sierra foothills, which is seeing most of the shutdowns on Tuesday, which could last well into the day on Wednesday. Winds were forecast by the National Weather Service to reach 45 mph around NorCal, but they are already exceeding expectations, with 50 mph winds detected in Butte County:
.@PGE4Me wind map showing north-easterly "down canyon" winds in the Feather River Canyon @ 50 mph this morning #ButteCo #CAwx pic.twitter.com/3q7KQGZtKC— D. Wilson (@ButteWxSpotter) September 8, 2020
Meanwhile, the usual concerns of the PG&E power shutdowns are being shared by communities throughout NorCal, including the safety of at-risk seniors in the midst of triple digit heat. The counties affected by the shutdowns areÂ Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne and Yuba.
The winds are expected to be intense throughout the day and tamper down Wednesday morning. Then it will take PG&E 12 hours to inspect their power lines and deem them no threat to create wildfires.
Meanwhile, National Forests are taking the unprecedented approach of closing their trailheads and prohibiting camping to reduce the possibility of human-caused wildfire. There are currently five National Forests that have prohibited camping, while the Shasta-Trinity National Forest has closed most of the outdoor areas around the Mount Shasta/McCloud area.