As nine wildfires burn throughout Northern California, the National Weather Service is warning Mother Nature is delivering a new threat — the return of gusty north winds Wednesday and Thursday.
The 10 to 25 mph winds — with gusts expected to reach 35 mph — will exacerbate dry conditions ideal for new fires as well as create problems for firefighters trying to contain the nine existing blazes. The weather service indicated the winds will be strong enough to blow debris and loose objects.
Temperatures are expected to drop 12 degrees between today and Friday in Santa Rosa and 7 degrees in Manteca during the same time period.
Altogether there are 15 large wildfires burning uncontrolled throughout California stretching emergency resources
The fires so far have:
killed at least 10 people
injured more than 100.
more than 100 people are reported missing.
burned more than 1,500 homes.
forced the mandatory evacuation of 33,000 people.
as of 11 p.m. Monday there was the potential for another 10,000 evacuations.
more than 57,500 acres of state and private land has burned.
19,100 homes are threatened.
400 businesses are threatened.
six schools are threatened
two fire stations are threatened.
critical infrastructure including a water pumping station, a hydro-electric facility, cell towers, water and sewer treatment facilities, a fiber optic trunk facility, and electrical transmission lines are threatened or have been damaged.
The devastation has resulted in the Federal Emergency Management Agency authorizing the use of federal funds to assist the State of California to combat the Atlas fire in Napa and Solano counties, Tubbs fire in Napa and Sonoma counties, Cascade fire in Butte and Yuba counties, Lobo fire in Nevada County, LaPorte fire in Butte County, Potter fire in Mendocino County, Nuns fire in Sonoma County, Patrick fire in Napa and Sonoma counties, Sulphur fire in Lake County, and canyon 2 fire in Orange and Riverside counties.
The FEMA Regional Administrator determined the fires threatened such destruction to constitute a major disaster.
Fire Management Assistance Grants has been authorized to provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.
FEMA has also deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to coordinate directly with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services at the state emergency operations center in Sacramento.