Fire danger on Memorial Day: Red flag warning issued for Sacramento, Northern California

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The potential for wildfire conditions has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning across lower elevations of Northern California for Monday and Tuesday.

A combination of strong winds and low humidity will make for “critical fire weather conditions” in the Sacramento Valley, the northern San Joaquin Valley and the Delta, weather service forecasters said Sunday after elevating their alert from a fire weather watch.

The red flag warning begins at 11 a.m. Monday and runs through 8 p.m. Tuesday, weather service forecasters said.

The west side of the Sacramento Valley, mainly along Interstate 5, is considered to be at the greatest risk for fire starts, though the alert also covers the areas around Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento below 1,000 feet elevation. Chico and Redding are also under the watch, with areas there below 3,000 feet covered.

North winds from 15 to 25 mph are expected on Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon, and could include gusts of up to 35 mph, forecasters said.

Relative humidity will also be low, forecast from 10 to 15% with poor so-called recoveries overnight Monday into Tuesday.

Temperatures across the Valley are expected to remain in the mid-70s to low 80s with Sacramento reaching 82 on Memorial Day, but a warming trend will push temperatures to 96 by Thursday.

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