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A special shout-out to the great kids at Willowside Middle School and language arts teacher Julia Castro in Santa Rosa, who welcomed me with great questions and equal courtesy during their career day today.  If you want to be a photojournalist, now’s the time to start!   Thanks again.

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If the last round of wind weren’t enough for you, another round of 50mph winds are forecast for the North Bay Hills from tonight (May 3) through Saturday afternoon.  This has again prompted the National Weather Service to post red flag fire warnings above 1,000 feet.  As usual, the temperatures will be up and the humidity will stay low.   At the Hawkeye RAWS sites near the Geysers field in northeast Sonoma County, the temperature has not dropped below 65 since April 30 and the humidity hasn’t risen above 26%.  That’s dry, especially for this time of the year.

On the Yellow fire above Knights Valley the other day, more than one person quipped that “It’s only May, things are burning like July”.  It seems to be true, all you have to do is look at the problems in southern California, for that matter, the rest of the state.

On Friday, CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant reaffirms, “Conditions are that of June and July.  Fire activity has definitely increased.”  In fact, says Berlant, “Since the wind event on April 30/May 1, there have been 250 more (fires) statewide, bringing the total to 1,100 this year.”

Rincon Valley fire captain Fred Leuenberger watches as a pine tree torches out on the head of the Yellow fire above Knights Valley, Wednesday May 1, 2013. The fire started early Wednesday morning and roared through tall stands of pine trees. Crews were securing the perimeter of the fire in the afternoon. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

If the above conditions weren’t enough, then here is another surprise: Dry lightning has been highlighted in the forecast for Mendocino and Lake Counties.  If the winds develop as forecast, the RH stays low and those pretty cumulus clouds develop in to storms, lightning strikes will not be out the question…watch out.

At least one reliable website has predicted lighting.  That link is here.  A red flag warning has been posted for our neighbors to the north.

All in all, it could get interesting this weekend in this place we call paradise.

Rincon Valley firefighter Nate DeJung watches as vegetation ignites at head of the Yellow fire above Knights Valley, Wednesday May 1, 2013. The fire started early Wednesday morning and roared through tall stands of pine trees. Crews were securing the perimeter of the fire in the afternoon. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

-Kent Porter

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