In addition to a heat advisory that applies to most of the Bay Area, the National Weather Service issued a “red flag warning” for the North and East Bay mountains on Monday night. That raised alarm bells in San Mateo County.
Officials informed residents that the red flag warning and heat advisory will stay in place through Wednesday. PG&E began powering down some customers in the North Bay and Sierra foothills on Monday, but power was being restored to those customers on Tuesday. At this writing, officials were not contemplating a power shutdown to ease the risk of fire in San Mateo County.
“Heat advisory can be somewhat connected to fire risk being when we have hot temperatures that can lead to very dry conditions,” National Weather Service meteorologist Spencer Tangen said. “Dry conditions like low humidity, that’s one component of high fire risk. Other components are strong, gusty winds and dry fuel.”
Tangen said meteorologists are not seeing the gusty winds in the valley, which is why the red flag warning is limited to the mountainous regions. However, he cautioned people to stay alert.
“The red flag warning is just where the fire danger is the highest,” Tangen said. “... If a fire does manage to start in the mountains, people need to be on alert. With hot, dry conditions, the fire could spread.”
Information about the weather conditions is available on the National Weather Service’s website, Twitter and Facebook page.
Office of Emergency Services officials warned residents to be cautious when using power tools, cooking outdoors, smoking or participating in other activities that could start a fire.