According to the National Weather Service, winds in the 30 to 50 mph range are expected at 1,000 feet and above, with the worst predicted for Thursday night and Friday morning.
Those conditions, combined with low humidity, make for perfect fire conditions, as power lines downed by winds can spark a blaze.
A Red Flag warning will be in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday afternoon.
That means there's high fire danger with "increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours," according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department.
Here's the forecast by region:
- North/East Bay Hills: North winds will be strong and gusty beginning Wednesday night and peaking Friday morning. The strongest winds will be observed above 1,000 feet with gusts up to 30-40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph above 3,000 feet.
- Santa Cruz County: North winds will gust up to 30-35 mph in high elevations above 2,500 feet, beginning on Thursday morning.
Advice for residentsHere are some tips:
- Be careful with fire. It is estimated that people cause 90 percent of wildfires, such as the recent 3,000-acre Mount Diablo blaze, caused by someone doing target practice.
- Create a defensible space around all structures by clearing flammable vegetation to a minimum of 100' or to the property line.
- Remove tree limbs within 10' of chimneys and stovepipes.
- Remove pine needles and leaves from roofs, eaves, and rain gutters.
- Remember that lawnmowers are for use on lawns. Do not use them on dry grass or weeds; doing so can start a fire.
- Always mow before 10 am. Dry grass has the highest amount of moisture during the morning hours.
- Dispose of cigarettes properly. Do not discard cigarettes on roadsides or in dry grass.
- Be alert: Immediately report small fires by calling 9-1-1.
- Avoid activities in or adjacent to dry grass or brush covered areas, such as weed mowing or disking, metal cutting, grinding or welding, using chain saws or any other activity that could produce a spark or flame.
- Park vehicles with hot catalytic converters only on paved or dirt areas; not on grass.
- Most important: Have a plan for gathering family members, pets, and valuables in case an approaching wildfire requires evacuation.