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California

Red-flag warning issued for Northern California and the Sierra

Tucker fire
The Tucker fire burned 14,150 acres in Modoc County earlier this summer.
(Courtesy of Geri Byrne)

Critical fire weather is expected Wednesday morning through Thursday evening in the Sierra and much of Northern California, according to the state’s fire protection agency.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, encouraged residents Tuesday to exercise caution outdoors.

The National Weather Service issued the red-flag warning Tuesday. It includes most of Modoc County, and the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Siskiyou County. The warning also includes a large swath of interior Northern California.

A red-flag warning is issued for weather which might result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours.

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The warning was prompted, in part, because isolated thunderstorms are possible Wednesday morning and isolated and scattered thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon with little or no rain. The storms would be a result of low pressure from the remains of Tropical Storm Ivo, which is forecast to move through Northern California on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Gusts of up to 50 mph are possible.

No red-flag warnings have been issued for Southern California.

The weather follows several days of high temperatures in the northern swath of the state, which dried out brush that could provide fuel for a wildfire, according to the weather service.

Modoc County has already seen the Tucker fire, which scorched 14,150 acres, making it California’s largest wildfire this year.

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The state has seen a fraction of the number of acres burned by wildfires compared to last year. As of last week, just under 52,000 acres had burned across state and federal lands in California.

Experts have attributed that to late spring rains, a cooler summer and fewer extreme wind events, among other things.

Times staff writers Joseph Serna and Hannah Fry contributed to this report.


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