The National Weather Service predicted another round of scattered thunderstorms that would hit the area around Santa Cruz on Sunday evening, with a red flag warning that would last until 5 p.m. Monday. Dry lightning, possible sparks from new fires and high winds would present another big challenge for firefighters battling the three large, complex fires that burn hundreds of thousands of acres around the Bay Area.
What to do – and what not to do – during a thunderstorm
Those who lived near the CZU lightning complex fire in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, including tens of thousands of displaced people, no doubt hoped that the generally thick sea layer that settles over the coast and the mountains of Santa Cruz would return to provide much needed humidity and slow fires. But the arid mountains did not have a Saturday-Sunday overnight break, with a thin marine layer and very low humidity at higher elevations, where most fires burn.
The weather service cited low humidity, high winds and the possibility of lightning as a cause for concern in the red flag warning, noting that new fires caused by lightning “can combine with strong exit winds for cause a rapid increase in size. and intensity before first responders can contain them. ”
Bay area fires: firefighters fear dry lightning, irregular winds could cause fires
Photo: Firefighters continue to fight fires at the lightning complex over time
California wildfires: SCU Lightning Complex firefighters prepare for Sunday night impacts
Displaced people in California wine country stuck in hellish limbo as fire rages on
Video: “Flames were all around me,” says Alameda County firefighter after bulldozer “burn”
Firefighters across California have declined due to the proliferation of hundreds of wildfires, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
A series of thunderstorms and lightning over the past weekend, in addition to a heat wave, sparked fires that are now burning across much of the state. An update from the NWS on Sunday afternoon said storms would occur along the coast from the south overnight.
These storms are the remnants of Hurricane Geneviève, which was a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday before dissipating, hitting Baja California.
Brian Garcia, an NWS meteorologist, said the storms didn’t look “terribly impressive” around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, but were expected to “intensify” overnight as the storms hit the region. bay.
Smoky air continued to settle around the Bay Area as more than a million acres were burned across the state.
By Sunday afternoon almost the entire Bay Area had air quality levels deemed unhealthy for all groups, with some very unhealthy aerial spots around Vallejo and slightly better aerial spots in San Francisco and Berkeley, well that the changes in wind pattern with Sunday night thunderstorms should have changed where the smoke will flow.Justin Townes Earle, American singer-songwriter
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air warning until Wednesday, August 26, and the smoke from the fires is not expected to disappear anytime soon. “The air quality is expected to be unhealthy with the heaviest impacts in the East Bay and Santa Clara Valley,” BAAQMD said in a press release.
Jack Broadbent, general manager of the air district, reminded residents to stay inside and keep windows closed.
“In the midst of a pandemic, it is more important than ever for residents to limit the time outdoors to protect their health,” he said. The council also recommends that residents adjust air conditioners and car vents to recirculate to prevent smoky outside air.