Pedestrians, drivers, and homeowners should pay attention to the high winds throughout the San Joaquin Valley today and Tuesday.
PG&E said it may shut off power to about 44,000 customers beginning today because wind gusts and falling trees could cause electrical equipment to spark fires.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning of extreme fire danger on late Sunday. The warning extends to late Tuesday and the strongest winds are expected today.
NWS Hanford says there is a 98% chance of wind gusts above 35 mph on the heavily traveled Tehachapi and Grapevine mountain passes.
Those strong winds combined with dust could create driving hazards, so be alert for sudden drops in visibility, NWS Hanford advises.
In eastern Kern County, expect west winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph.
In the San Joaquin Valley, expect NW winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Low RH values across the Northwest portion of the SJV and a Red Flag Warning for wildfire danger in the pink shaded area pic.twitter.com/H3qERO69Vd
— NWS Hanford (@NWSHanford) October 11, 2021
On Monday morning, there were reports of fallen trees in Fresno and Clovis. Gusts could reach 45 mph, NWS Hanford said.
Today’s high in Fresno is expected to be 67 degrees with an overnight low of 46. Though the strong winds are expected to subside by Tuesday night, cooler temperatures are in the forecast through Friday.
Another tree🌲 is down in the roadway, on northbound Willow Ave., just north of Sierra Ave.
Use caution and slow down for our crews clearing the roadway, and report roadway hazards by calling 911. pic.twitter.com/4OlTyRydRL
— Clovis Police (CA) (@ClovisPolice_CA) October 11, 2021
Winds and Dust Create Health Concerns
Because of the strong winds, the Valley Air District recommends that residents in affected areas remain indoors with windows and doors closed to avoid blowing dust.
The district issued an Air Quality High Wind Advisory on Sunday afternoon.
“Strong winds often cause localized blowing dust in areas where soils are exceptionally dry — creating unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller (PM10),” the air district said in a news release. “Exposure to particulate pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections.”
To monitor PM10 levels in your area, visit www.airnow.gov or download the “EPA AirNow” app for android or iPhone. For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call a district office in Fresno (559) 230-6000, Modesto (209) 557-6400), or Bakersfield (661) 392-5500).
KNP Complex Fire Update
Firefighters are making considerable progress after last Friday’s rain, and Tulare County officials are downgrading many evacuation orders and warnings.
As of 9:40 a.m. Monday, the fire covered 87,468 acres in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and was 30% contained.
There are 2,118 firefighters on the scene.
To see if your residence or business is affected by an evacuation order, check this link.
Together, the KNP Complex and Windy wildfires in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks may have killed hundreds of giant sequoias as they swept through groves over the past month, an official said last week.
Last year’s Castle Fire in and around Sequoia National Park is estimated to have killed as many as 10,600 giant sequoias, or 10% to 14% of the entire population.
Windy Fire Update
As of 9:40 a.m. Monday, the wildfire burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in Sequoia National Forest spanned 97,544 acres with 88% containment.
With evacuation orders and warnings changing often as fire containment grows, evacuees should refer to the Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Map at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 211 for the latest information.