Challenging weather ahead for firefighters
July 11, 2008
REDDING ” Firefighters in Northern California won’t get much of a break from the record heat this weekend and are likely to face an additional weather challenge ” potential lightning followed by wind.
The winds firefighters have been contending with the past few mornings should decline Friday afternoon, according to the Northern California Fires Joint Information Center in Redding. Fire weather forecasters are predicting isolated thunderstorms beginning Saturday morning in Northern California, particularly in the northeastern areas.
Widespread thunderstorms will follow on Sunday. Following the thunderstorms, a low-pressure system is forecast to move into the area, bringing slightly cooler weather but increasing the potential for wind into next week, according to state and federal fire officials.
Additional resources to assist with new fire starts are moving into Northern California. The Redding Smokejumper Base, for instance, is receiving additional smokejumpers to augment those currently in place. Smokejumpers are firefighters who parachute to fires, making them ideally suited to respond to new fire starts in difficult-to-reach areas.
The more than 15,000 personnel from 38 states and three other countries involved in the Northern California firefight have faced extremely difficult conditions this week due to record heat, low humidity and strong local winds.