California: New wildfires fears due to the heatwave

United State’s north and south cities like California face critical fire weather conditions in an already unprecedented time.

California and its onslaught of wildfires have significantly quieted. However, forecasters warned on Tuesday that a fall heatwave could bring back critical fire weather conditions this week.

The cause for the wildfires

Fire weather watches will affect much of northern California early on Wednesday due to strong influence producing hot and dry conditions with gusty offshore winds, the National Weather Service said. Peak gusts are likely to start late on Wednesday, with parts of California expected to see gusts of up to 50 mph.

Critical fire weather conditions are possible across the higher elevations of the North and East Bay. Even in areas like the Santa Cruz Mountains, a dry air mass moving in from the north might face the issue due to high winds. A drop in relative humidity values signifies similar things, said the National Weather Service in San Francisco.

Precautions by authorities of California

The utility Pacific Gas & Electric said it was likely that the authorities would shut down some circuits. This action is to prevent damaged power lines from starting fires. The utility, found at fault in two of the deadliest wildfires in California’s recent history, estimated that it might need to preventively shut off power to 50,000 customers in 21 of the state’s 56 counties – up to 149,000 Californians.

The warning by the Authorities

The National Weather Service (Los Angeles) warned of “briefly critical fire weather conditions” in Los Angeles and Ventura counties starting on Thursday night, due to “weak Santa Ana winds” that “will likely worsen on Friday” in addition to “very warm to hot and dry conditions.”

Areas like Southern California, which started the week with triple-digit high temperatures, are predicted to see particularly gusty north-east winds on Friday. Temperatures are to stay in the high 90s and lower 100s through the end of the week. Consequently, heat advisories will be in effect for many areas.

On ground status till now

This week’s heatwave comes after a summer of record temperatures and a freak weather event in August. This event kicked off a historic fire season. More than 8,400 wildfires have burned well over 6,250 sq miles (16,187 sq km) in California since the start of the year.

Many of them ignited during a mid-August lightning siege of nearly 14,000 strikes. 31 people have died. Consequently, the city saw the destruction of more than 9,200 structures.

The fire department wholly or substantially contains most of the vast fires over the past eight weeks. However, thousands of firefighters remain on the lines.

While smoky conditions have cleared up in most regions, an unhealthy haze still hangs overhead in some areas.

Image courtesy of My Photo Buddy/Shutterstock

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