North Bay braces for strong winds, critical fire danger

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SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Tens of thousands of folks in the North Bay will likely feel the impact of power outages because of the high winds. 

The strong wind event is expected to happen in the overnight hours and that is what firefighters and law enforcement are worried about. They want to make sure everyone has an evacuation plan.

The weather was quiet in the Sonoma Valley Saturday but this criss fall day is not what it seems.

“Cooler temperatures should not fool you the peak of fire season is here and it’s really around this time of year where we actually experience our largest or most damaging wildfires despite those cooler temperatures,” Cal Fire Assistant Deputy Director Daniel Berlant said. “Conditions are at their driest and this is the time period where we see the strongest of the wind.”

And it may be the worst wind event we’ve seen in the entire season.

Strong and gusty offshore winds are anticipated sunday night into monday morning.

The National Weather Service issued Red Flag warnings and wind advisories for the entire Bay Area.

Cal Fire reminding people to be ready.

“Around the home you should be preparing to evacuate, identifying important documents, your valuables,” Berlant said. “Set them all in one location, put them in your car. We even suggest that you back your car in, take it out of the garage in case you lose electricity that way you have a quick access to your vehicle that you can evacuate quickly.”

The critical fire weather has prompted possible power shutoffs.

In Sonoma County, more than 39,000 PG&E customers are expected to be in the dark beginning Sunday.

“This year I purchased a generator so I’m already to go just in case that it does happen,” James Nolan said.

Nolan lives in Sonoma and learned from last year’s shutoffs.

“Have a cooler set up and get some dry ice, just be prepared in the event,” Nolan said. “I have multiple lanterns and everything i need to in case it does happen.”

Cal Fire staffed up crews across the region, adding more resources, ready to respond in case a fire breaks out.

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