The first red flag warning in the Sierra Front has been issued by the National Weather Service.
Forecasters say gusty winds and low humidity will increase the danger of fires spreading from 11 a.m. today to 11 p.m. Thursday.
According to the Weather Service, southwest winds will be blowing 15-25 mph, gusting to 40-45 mph on today and 30-40 mph on Thursday.
Humidity is expected to drop to 8-15 percent during the breeziest 4-8 hours each day.
Some areas will see critical fire dangers as early as Wednesday afternoon and evening.
“The combination of gusty winds and low humidity can cause fire to rapidly grow in size and intensity, mainly in locations with dry fine fuels, grasses and shrubs.”
Residents are asked to avoid outdoor activities that can cause a spark near dry vegetation, such as yard work, target shooting or campfires.
The following tips are basic information to keep in mind from the Red Cross about wildfire season. For detailed information and to learn how to make an emergency kit, visit redcross.org.
What should I do if there are reports of wildfires in my area?
Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
Limit exposure to smoke and dust.
Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in.
What should I do to prepare ahead of time?
Keep the areas surrounding your home clear of brush, debris, and other materials that may catch fire.
Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply.
Don’t forget to include critical documents, medications, and food and water for your entire family. Include supplies for your pets if they will evacuate with you.
Don’t wait. Evacuate.
If ordered to evacuate, leave immediately and head to your identified shelter – this can be with family or friends, or at a hotel, Red Cross shelter, or other location you select.
Have a Family Plan
If separated, have a meeting place near your home.
If you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate, identify a meeting place location outside of your neighborhood.
Plan your evacuation routes. Your primary route may not be accessible, so list two routes.
If your household is separated or unable to communicate with each other, have an outside emergency contact.
Returning home after a wildfire
Do not enter your neighborhood or home until fire officials say it is safe.
Use caution when entering burned areas – hazards may still exist, including hot spots which can flare up without warning.
Visit redcross.org for information on how to make an emergency kit.
Download the Red Cross app
The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.