Two days of strong, dry winds on the North Coast fanned fires and downed power lines and tree branches in Sonoma County.
A wind-fed, 159-acre vegetation fire burned in Crane Creek Regional Park east of Rohnert Park Friday afternoon, Cal Fire said. Seven fire agencies responded to the blaze on Pressley Road at 12:52 p.m.
Three air tankers and a helicopter supported ground crews, Cal Fire spokeswoman Tiffany Mercado said. No structures were threatened by the fire on the western slope of Sonoma Mountain, she said, and the cause had not been determined.
"It was wind driven," she said. "The wind pushes the fire in dry vegetation. It's perfect conditions for fire to spread." The fire was 75 percent contained Friday evening, she said.
Another large fire near Lake Berryessa in Napa County burned 376 acres, according to Cal Fire. It started Thursday and crews had it contained on Friday evening.
The National Weather Service on Thursday issued a red flag warning and a high-wind advisory for the North Bay on Thursday. Such alerts warn firefighters that dry, windy weather could fuel fires.
Cal Fire said it had placed additional firefighters on duty to deal with what was expected to be a period of heightened fire danger. The agency urged people to be cautious when using yard equipment that could spark dry grass and advised people to mow lawns in the early morning or late evening.
National Weather Service meteorologist Larry Smith said the blustery conditions would last until Saturday morning.
"The wind advisory tells you that the wind is going to be strong enough to be annoying, blowing over garbage cans and knocking down tree limbs," he said. "Power lines can get tangled. Use caution when driving."
Winds averaged 30 mph with gusts up to 52 mph at Sonoma County Airport Thursday night, Smith said.
The winds kept Sonoma County emergency dispatchers busy. Redwood Empire Dispatch Communications Authority received seven calls for downed power lines and tree branches, supervisor Sophia Betts said.
"It was a pretty wind night, but not overwhelming," she said.
Three trees fell in Santa Rosa, and two in the Sonoma Valley. Power lines came down at two Santa Rosa locations. No injuries were reported, Betts said.
The wind sent a tree branch three feet in diameter crashing through the roof of a Larkfield house Friday morning and causing about $10,000 damage, Rincon Valley Fire Lt. Spence Andreis said.
"There were pretty good-sized holes in the roof," he said. "It was a huge branch."
You can reach Staff Writer Matt Brown at 521-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.