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First Significant Storm of the Season Arrives Saturday. Creek Fire Area in Risk Zone.



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The first significant storm system of the wet season will impact Central California this weekend, according to the National Weather Service’s Hanford office.

The majority of the projected precipitation will fall Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. says this system will *not* be a moist atmospheric river-type storm. Instead, a low pressure system will bring cold and somewhat dry, unstable air into California.

Fresno could receive anywhere from 0.1-.25 inches of rain, while Shaver Lake and Oakhurst could see anywhere from 0.5 to 1 inch of rainfall. Snowfall of up to 12 inches is possible in upper elevations by Sunday, which could impact the Grapevine and Tehachapi passes, the Weather Service said.

Creek Fire Risk Zones

The Sheriff’s Office says damage caused by the Creek Fire has caused several areas in the foothill and mountain communities of eastern Fresno County to become unstable.

Severe winter storms may contribute to dangerous mudslides and flooding across scarred land. In preparation of potential natural disasters, the County of Fresno and the Sheriff’s Office have collaborated to develop a map to help residents identify high risk zones.

Much like the evacuation map accessed by the public during the Creek Fire, residents are able to enter an address into this “Creek Winter Storms” map to see the different risk levels. Yellow indicates “High Risk” and red indicates “Extreme Risk.” If a storm occurs, the map will activate to display evacuation zones. These areas will be listed under three headings: Evacuate, warning and no evacuation.

Here is a link to the map or click on the graphic below.

The home page of the new Creek Fire risk map shows different areas of concern. (Courtesy/Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

Air Quality Alert

The Valley Air District is issuing a health cautionary statement due to continued smoke impacts from the Creek Fire and SQF Complex Fire, and high winds from the northwest expected to create blowing dust and elevated concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller (PM10) Valley-wide on Friday and Saturday.

The SQF Complex Fire in Tulare County and Creek Fire in Madera/Fresno counties continue to generate smoke, which contains particulate matter 2.5 microns and smaller (PM2.5) and are expected to continue until the fires are extinguished.

Local air pollution officials are advising San Joaquin Valley residents to remain indoors in areas effected by wildfire smoke and high winds to avoid exposure to unhealthy levels of particulate matter pollution.