Wind could fuel Fawn Fire over weekend, pollute Northern California air before weather cools Monday
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Gusty winds, warm temperatures and extremely dry brush may help fuel the Fawn Fire and push smoke north over the weekend.
That’s before the weather cools and light rains arrive next week.
Wind from the southwest will pick up on Friday afternoon and last through Sunday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Katrina Hand in Sacramento. Expect wind gusts around 30 mph on the northern Sacramento Valley floor and stronger wind in the mountains.
Those winds could fuel the Fawn Fire, burning northeast of Redding in Shasta County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
They could also push smoke from the fire into northern Shasta County and Siskiyou County skies, polluting air and decreasing visibility for motorists in some places. The amount of smoke will depend on fire growth.
In the valley, conditions will continue to be dry, as daily high temperatures reach into the 80s, Hand said.
Expect rain, cooler temperatures on Monday
Next week, weather could help with firefighting efforts and clean the air.
Temperatures drop into the 60s and 70s in the valley starting Monday, Hand said. Light rain — up to a tenth of an inch — could reach the valley floor.
That could help clear smoke from the air and snuff flames on the ground.
Higher elevations in Shasta and Siskiyou counties will likely see more rain — up to a quarter inch, Hand said. Daytime temperatures will drop into the 50s and lower 60s by Tuesday or Wednesday,
Nighttime temperatures in the mountains could drop into the 30s, the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon warned.
The northwest, including western Siskiyou County, will get the lion’s share of the rain next week, Hand said.
That could help firefighters battling the McCash Fire burning in Six Rivers National Forest, and the River Complex of fires burning in Klamath National Forest.
As of Friday, the 92,639-acre McCash Fire was 36% contained, according to the Six Rivers National Forest. Containment on the 197,474-acre River Complex was 65%, according to Klamath National Forest.
Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.