The North Bay will experience dry, windy weather over the next two days, raising the level of fire danger, officials said Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning for northern Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties. The warning, which lasts through Friday at 3 p.m., calls for strong, gusty winds and low humidity.

"Conditions are ripe that, if a fire should break out, it could get out of control," said Bob Benjamin, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. "You've got high winds and very dry winds."

Fire officials warned people to be alert when gardening and camping.

"We urge everyone to be very cautious during times of Red Flag warnings," said Amy Head, a Cal Fire and Napa County fire captain. "The fire season is definitely not over. Historically, September and October can be our busiest months."

Officials said that metal-bladed lawn mowers are a prime fire-starter during dry weather, and advised people to mow lawns in the early morning or late evening.

Other tips include keeping a bucket of water nearby when making a campfire. Residents should also make sure they have 100 feet of defensible space around structures, which includes clearing dead weeds and vegetation and removing leaves and needles from gutters.

"The biggest threat in my opinion is the threat of downed power lines in the high wind," Head said.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Brown at 521-5206 or

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