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Warm temperatures, dry, gusty winds trigger Solano County Red Flag Warning

First Alert Weather Forecast for Wednesday afternoon
First Alert Weather Forecast for Wednesday afternoon 01:59

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) --  A weather system passing to the east of the San Francisco Bay Area will whip up winds in the East and North Bay hills late Thursday night, elevating wildfire fears and triggering a Red Flag Warning for Solano County.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for parts of Solano County, the Carquinez Strait and the Delta from 11 a.m. Thursday to 8 p.m. on Friday.  The warning extends eastward all the way to the Sierra foothills and includes the Sacramento Valley and northern San Joaquin Valley.

Cal Fire posted a tweet about the critical fire weather Wednesday afternoon.

In the area of the warning, forecasters said humidity levels could drop to 5-15 percent and winds could gusts up to 45 mph or more.

"The airmass will dry as north winds roll down the Central Valley with lowering relative humidity values," the weather service said.  "The period of strongest winds looks to occur Thursday night with a shot of gusty northeast winds pushing over the Napa hills and East Bay....The strongest winds should stay confined to the hills above 1500 feet."

"The strongest push appears to be from late Thursday into early Friday with gusts likely peaking in the 40-55 mph range for the Napa Hills and Mt. Diablo."

Of particular concerns are hillsides turned brown and parched dry during the months of drought conditions.

"It will be windy and fire weather concerns will be elevated/increasing," the weather service said. "The main long term impact will be the continued rapid drying of the fuels, both live and dead."

Fairfield city officials announced the closure of several parks and regional open spaces through Saturday morning due to the elevated fire risk.

Lighter winds are expected Saturday, but humidity values will remain in the single digits and teens.

In the National Interagency Fire Center's latest prediction for threat of wildfires, the Bay Area was in the above normal category for the remainder of May and all of June.

Meanwhile, NASA's Short-term Prediction and Transition Center has found that the soil moisture levels around the Bay Area are at some of the lowest percentiles measurable.

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