COLUSA COUNTY (CBS13) — With strong winds anticipated this weekend, conditions will be ideal for wildfires and Cal Fire is preparing now to respond.
“We’re staffing up resources. We’re pre-positioning in the areas where we anticipate where the critical areas are. But that just means there isn’t much time in this kind of wind for you to evacuate should there be a fire, so you need to be prepared right now.” said Ken Pimlott, Director of Cal Fire.
And despite recent rain, he says winds could top 30 miles per hour this weekend and conditions are still dry.
“Yes. We did just receive some rainfall which was welcome,” Pimlott said. “But the north wind event that’s forecast this weekend has the potential to completely undo the effect of all of that rain.”
Pimlott says the fire season may have started earlier this year, but we’re not out of the woods yet, and residents should remain ready.
“Have your go bag ready to go, have all your plans in place. Treat it just like it’s peak of July or August because conditions are ripe for that” he said.
In fact, the deadly Tubbs Fire sparked around this same time in October last year, destroying businesses and wiping out entire neighborhoods near Santa Rosa.
“That’s when everything went crazy. You could see the smoke from all over the place “ said Williams’ resident, Mark Ellebracht.
He and his wife, Kellie remember the Tubbs Fire well. They say Cal-Fire will often stage strike teams at the nearby Colusa County Fairgrounds during red flag conditions and they’re staying prepared this year just in case.
“It helps if you keep all of your weeds down, and keep everything trimmed,” Kellie said.
“I have a backup plan of where to go. Keep an eye on where it’s at in relation, and if it’s getting close it might be time to pack up and get out ahead of time,” Mark added.
Cal-Fire says a break from fires over the past week or so has given crews a chance to rest and recover but they’re keeping a close eye on conditions to see exactly where to place strike teams should they need them this weekend.