This is a developing situation and information may change. We’ll update this article as more information becomes available. The most recent information will be updated at the top of the article, with the earlier reports below.
MENDOCINO Co., 9/20/23 – National Weather Service Eureka (NWS Eureka) has issued a red flag warning for central and southern Lake County and the National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area issued a red flag warning for mountainous areas of Sonoma and Napa Counties. The warnings start at 11 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, September 20 and end at 5 p.m. Thursday, September 21.
According to NWS Eureka, “A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.”
NWS Eureka forecasts winds from the north gusting from 20 to 35 mph on exposed ridges and terrains with the strongest winds expected between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. Thursday. The relative humidity has also declined, which along with dry shrubs and grasses, create perfect conditions for wildfires to spread rapidly.
As of now, there are no red flag warnings in Mendocino County. However, fire weather in neighboring counties mean that wildfires could threaten Mendocino County.
In addition to the red flag warning, NWS Eureka also forecasts that portions of Mendocino County may experience a widespread haze and moderate smoke impacts due to wildfires burning in Northern California and Southern Oregon. At this time, no major wildfires are active in Mendocino or Lake Counties.
For more detailed and current air quality and smoke information visit: https://fire.airnow.gov. Information about the current fires can be found at Cal Fire’s Current Emergency Incidents page and the United States Forest Service’s Inciweb site.
No PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) are planned at this time for Mendocino County. We will update this article if that changes.
If you haven’t prepared your emergency go bag for a wildfire or signed up for notifications for a planned power outage, now’s a good time! Learn how to create your own go bag here and you can check our our emergency guide here, and some tips about making sure you’re notified for any planned power outages due to wildfire risks.
Sarah Stierch covers wildfires, breaking news, and more for The Mendocino Voice. You can follow Stierch on Twitter and learn more about her work and donate to her directly at here. Contact Stierch at [email protected]. The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.