MENDOCINO Co., 11/07/18 — A red flag warning has been issued for portions of eastern Mendocino County, including the Mendocino National Forest and the Covelo area, which will last from 10 p.m. on Wednesday evening through 10 p.m. Thursday evening. A red flag warning is issued when "critical fire weather" conditions may be in effect, usually a combination of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures. PG&E may plan to shut-off power to nine counties around Northern California, including portions of Lake, Napa, and Sonoma counties (see the full announcement below), but there are currently no plans to shut-off power in Mendocino County at this time.
You can see the full details of the red flag warning at the National Weather Service alerts website, and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has also warned residents to remain cautious and stay on alert due to potential critical fire weather conditions, particularly in eastern parts of Mendocino County.
Conditions around the county remain hot and dry, with little rain in the forecast, and several fires have started in the last few days. Cal Fire, along with PG&E and local public safety agencies, have been coordinating to ensure additional staff are in place during potentially critical fire weather periods. Last month, PG&E initiated the first planned shut-off in county history due to fire danger, by shutting off power in a number of Northern California counties over several days.
Here's the warning from the National Weather Service:
A surge of drier air will push into northwest California fromthe northeast tonight. Gusty east to northeasterly winds willdevelop late tonight and last into Thursday evening, particularlyat high elevations and along exposed ridges, but also affecting afew valleys during the afternoon hours. Humidity will be very low,with poor overnight recoveries outside of valley floors. The mostdangerous conditions are expected to exist in areas that aredominated by finer fuels, as these fuels will dry very quickly inthese conditions. Winds will ease Thursday night into Fridaymorning, but humidity will remain unusually low.
Here's the announcement from MCSO; the full press release from PG&E is included below:
Here's the full press release from PG&E. At this time, the planned shut-off does not include Mendocino County.
PG&E Continues to Notify Customers in Parts of Nine Counties About the Potential for Public Safety Power Shutoff Due to Forecasted Extreme Weather
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— Due to expected extreme fire danger conditions, including the Red Flag warning from the National Weather Service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is continuing to notify approximately 70,000 customers in portions of nine counties that the company may proactively turn off power for safety starting on Thursday, November 8.
“We understand how important electric service is to customers, so we are considering temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety only as a last resort during extreme weather conditions to reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Pat Hogan, senior vice president of Electric Operations.
Factors that PG&E considers when deciding to initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff include strong winds, very low humidity levels, critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations.
Continuing today, PG&E is sending automated voice messages, texts and emails to customers alerting them to a potential power shutoff. The company has also taken extra steps to notify customers enrolled in the Medical Baseline program via available channels, including deploying PG&E employees to knock on these customers’ doors. Due to forecasted high winds and dry vegetation, PG&E may temporarily turn off power in portions of the following communities:
Butte County (including Berry Creek, Chico, Forest Ranch, Magalia, Oroville, Paradise)
Lake County (including Clearlake Oaks, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Middletown)
Napa County (including Angwin, Pope Valley, St. Helena)
Nevada County (including Grass Valley, Nevada City, North San Juan)
Placer County (including Colfax, Foresthill, Alta)
Plumas County (including La Porte)
Sierra County (including Downieville, Sierra City)
Sonoma County (only portions of unincorporated northeast Sonoma County)
Yuba County (including Brownsville, Dobbins, Camptonville)
Customers in these potentially affected areas are served by approximately 3,100 miles of power lines. That’s the equivalent of the driving distance from San Francisco to Boston. If power is turned off for safety, every mile will be inspected prior to safely turning the power back on.
PG&E meteorologists continuously monitor weather conditions, and the company will issue additional details on affected areas as weather reports become available. Gusty northeast winds are expected late Wednesday through Thursday primarily in the Sacramento Valley, western slopes of northern Sierra and the North Bay hills.
PG&E is working closely with first responders and state and local agencies to keep them apprised of our response to the evolving weather conditions.
Customers should make sure their contact information is up-to-date by visiting pge.com/mywildfirealerts, or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911.
Customers can learn whether their home or business is in or near a high fire-threat area by reviewing the California Public Utilities Commission’s High Fire-Threat District map. For more information on how to prepare, customers should visit pge.com/wildfiresafety or call 1-800-PGE-5002. They can also visit pge.com/wildfiresafety to determine whether their home or business is served by an electric line that may be turned off for safety.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.