In California, windy, dry weather expected to bring 'critical' conditions

In California, windy, dry weather expected to bring 'critical' conditions

September 27, 2020
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In California, weeks after a heatwave intensified devastating wildfires burning throughout the state, crews are bracing for weekend weather conditions expected to hamper containment efforts.

The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings across the state as windy and dry conditions are expected to raise “fire weather concerns to critical levels across parts of both Northern and Southern California on Sunday,” the agency said.

In addition to exacerbating conditions for the 17,000 personnel battling the state’s 25 major wildfires, residents throughout the state were warned of potential power outages starting Sunday. Utility provider Pacific Gas and Electric said it may need to turn off power for up to 97,000 customers in 15 counties to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Red flag warnings are expected to last through Monday and come weeks after a heatwave drove temperatures to triple-digit and record-breaking highs. Those conditions prompted the U.S. Forest Service to close several national forests.

On Friday, the agency said it would extend closures, affecting nine national forests.

“Continued closures are based on extreme fire conditions, critical limitations of firefighting resources, and to provide for firefighter and public safety,” said Randy Moore, a regional forester for the agency’s Pacific Southwest Region, in a statement.

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