California: Fire weather is returning to California this week, prompting warnings and preparation.
October traditionally brings dangerous fire conditions, with winds and hot temperatures. Officials said Northern California--which has been devastated with two straight years of destructive fires--could see the strongest winds of the season.
Here is the what to expect this week:
Southern California fire danger Santa Ana winds, possibly strong, are expected to develop in the mountains before sunrise Thursday. The winds are expected to be widespread and to peak Thursday before weakening slightly on Friday and then diminishing Saturday.
The region could see a rapid onset of Santa Anas in the valleys and along the coasts, with northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph (32 to 48km/h) and gusts up to 55 mph (88km/h) ; in the foothills and mountains, winds of 25 to 40 mph (40 to 64km/h) with gusts of up to 70 mph (112km/h) are expected.
Temperatures could reach into the 80s, and the humidity is expected to fall rapidly by Thursday afternoon, which means grasses and brush will be dry and quicker to burn.
Northern California fire danger Windy conditions are expected to begin Tuesday night and continue for days.
The National Weather Service was forecasting "the strongest wind event of the season so far. Now is the time to prepare."
Citing the potential for extremely dry air and steady winds of up to 30 mph, with gusts that experts say could be twice as strong, Pacific Gas & Electric announced it was considering a public safety power shutoff for 29 counties from Wednesday morning to Thursday afternoon.