Winds prompt higher fire alert |

Winds prompt higher fire alert

Weather forecasters predict strong, dry winds will blow from the north across Northern California today, increasing wildfire danger until Thursday.

The windy weather has state and federal firefighters on alert.

“We don’t take it lightly; we’re taking the weatherman seriously and we’re gearing up for it,” said Rich Anderson, a fire captain for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection at Grass Valley’s air attack base.

Winds are predicted to reach 20 to 35 mph today, with gusts of more than 40 mph expected, according to the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office.

Anderson said CDF precautions include having 11 more fire engines on duty in Nevada, Placer and Yuba counties; keeping four, instead of two, fire crews on duty around the clock; and keeping bulldozer crews on duty for 24 hours, instead of letting them leave at the usual time of 8 p.m.

Tahoe National Forest dispatcher Mike Ledford said TNF precautions include having air attack and helicopter crews come on duty 90 minutes early at 8 a.m., and having an extra engine on hand and two extra hand crews on duty.

On the Net

National Weather Service, Sacramento:

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