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CalFire did its nightly briefing early, and I'm just playing catch up. Here's some fast intel on #RiverFire and #CarmelFire. First up Steve Bernal, Monterey County Sheriff. Evac warning for Laureles Grade and Carmel Valley due to forecasted winds that could impact both fires.
This is just a warning to give people time to get ready to get out. But please, get ready to get out if you already haven't. Residents are asked to leave the area via southbound 101 -- due to other fires burning in the area and in Santa Cruz.
Traffic is gonna be a bitch. (My word, not his.) This could turn into an evac order by tomorrow. "Please don't make us come rescue you," he says. Things may not look threatening now but it can change rapidly.
(See earlier Tweet for parameters of evac order.)
Carmel Middle School, Sherwood Hall in Salinas are emergency shelters for evacuees. The Monterey Conference Center is open for evacuees to access vouchers and services.
Next up, Cal Fire incident meteorologist James Dudley. "We're in for a major change in how the winds are moving through the fire area." Tomorrow, more importantly Sat nite and Sunday, winds will be in a southeast direction coming into the fire area. Not strong winds, but..
Sunday night, we're gonna have more thunderstorms and dry lightning and what's called "Gusty outflow winds." (That's my emo band name)
Speeds of 40 or 50 mph are possible. The thunderstorms are a possibility, not a definite. NWS has issued a fire weather watch for dry lightning in effect from 11am Sunday to 11am Monday.
Next up, D5 County Supe Mary Adams: We're listening to the experts. We're asking you to do some very difficult things. Sign up for first. And then, have a plan with your family so you know where you're going and where to meet. Third, pack the special stuff
"Things that you would miss." But most importantly, follow the orders laid out, we're doing this now so we don't have a glut of traffic on Carmel Valley Road.
Next up is Cal Fire Unit Chief David Fulcher. "We're here out of an abundance of caution." The River Fire, he said, resulted from a single lightning strike. That's nothing compared to the weather we're about to face.
Fulcher: "We expect to have stronger, more erratic, more gustier winds and we'll be fighting fires on all fronts." Fucking yikes. "Pay attention to the weather and listen to your radios, listen to your alert systems."
In the state, he says, 12,000 lightning strikes and 771,000 acres of California burning. 12,000 fire personnel are deployed, and that's just fire personnel.
Questions. First, what can we expect of weather change? The meteorologist says an overall change in the wind direction, which impacts how the fire is fought. But gusty and erratic wins are the bigger concern, it can change from light wind to screaming and howling.
Also, very little rain is involved in these storms. Keep an eye out, he says.
Next question: Have Carmel and River Fires merged? There's a possibility, Fulcher says, but now they are not. Next question: How can people receive re-population alerts? Bernal says Cal Fire will let them know it's safe first, and then alerts will be sent out via a lot of media.
Next question: A lot of people are mentioning there's conflicting and misleading intel on social media. (True in all things.) Only accept info from official vetted sources, like Monterey County OES and CalFireBEU.
Next question: Where can people find evac zones on map and locate their homes? Monterey County OES has an excellent map and allows you to enter your specific address and your neighborhood to check status.
PIO Sanchez: Please prepare, visit to get ready, sign up for alerts at - 30 -
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