High winds, warmer temperatures and plummeting humidity in Northern California prompted the state’s largest firefighting force this week to issue early orders bolstering staff numbers at stations across the region, where conditions are already setting up to fuel the type of large blazes that raged last fall.
Forecasts calling for gusts up to 55 mph Friday evening and overnight at the highest elevations of the North Bay were a key factor in the call by Cal Fire, which moved up by a few days its reinforcement of fire stations in the region.
“We were thinking the weather would hold a little longer,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Marshall Turbeville. The agency was set to add season firefighting staff on Monday. “Instead we staffed them (Friday) primarily due to winds and the warm weather. The winds are there, the fuels just aren’t quite, but under the right conditions things are possible.”