It was a wet Saturday in Humboldt County, with rain likely to help the northern California firefighters.
“This is all very good news on the fire front,” said meteorologist Alex Dodd on Saturday. “You get some very soothing, soaking rain … especially over the McCash Fire and much of the River Complex.”
The Klamath National Forest tweeted Saturday that the rain was making a difference.
“It won’t completely extinguish the fire, but it will help the firefighters achieve their goals … even if the night crew has to hide their boots,” she tweeted.
On Saturday morning, the River Complex fire was reported to have covered 190,884 acres with 45% containment.
Dodd said more rain is expected all day on Saturday and early in the morning on Sunday, but after that the county will dry up and warm up again.
“There will be some persistent showers on (Saturday night), particularly over the northern parts of Humboldt and in Del Norte County later this evening through early Sunday morning. But the majority of the day on Sunday here on site will turn out to be dry. “
In Blue Lake, more than 1,900 customers were without power on Saturday morning, according to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. outage map.
“The rain had nothing to do with it and there were no strong winds that would drop many branches. The wind was pretty weak, ”he said. “That sounds like it’s something not weather dependent.”
PG&E spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said the company had failed to determine the cause of the Blue Lake outage, but said on Sunday afternoon that power was restored.
In addition, there have been more than 1,200 outages in the Willow Creek area, she said.
“We believe this is due to the weather because of the wind and rain. … It affects 1,271 customers in Willow Creek, Salyer, and Hawkins Bar (areas), ”she said.
She said customers in that area may not see power restored until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.
“This line is in a high fire hazard area so it must be 100% patrolled before it can be powered again,” said Contreras. “So it is being patrolled on foot and we will patrol it by helicopter as soon as we can get the helicopter up.”
The weather conditions on Saturday afternoon did not allow aerial reconnaissance, she said.
While Dodd noted that “it’s not uncommon for it to actually rain here in September,” he said the amount of rain in a single day starting on Saturday is roughly the normal total for the month.
“Usual rainfall for September is 0.68 inches,” he said. In various areas of Northern California it was between a half and a quarter of an inch on Saturday lunchtime.
Dodd said there was potential for a red flag warning later in the week in Lake County, but the wet weather this weekend will help firefighters further north.
“We’re looking forward to a dry week with temperatures warming up again,” he said. “If anything, we can actually see some of this warmth stretching out towards the coastal areas Monday through Tuesday … probably close to, I dare say, 70, if not above, for a few days or both.”
To learn more about PG&E outages, go to https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/outages/map/.
Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.