Breathtaking view of fall colors in the Sierra as birds would see them

This drone flight shows fall color in Northern California, south of Lake Tahoe. The views capture from above Hope Valley, the west fork of the Carson River along highways 88 and 89 downstream to Woodfords, Luther Pass Road and Caples Lake. John Ha
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This drone flight shows fall color in Northern California, south of Lake Tahoe. The views capture from above Hope Valley, the west fork of the Carson River along highways 88 and 89 downstream to Woodfords, Luther Pass Road and Caples Lake. John Ha
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Weather

Expected Northern California rain to help firefighting efforts

By Benjy Egel

begel@sacbee.com

October 19, 2017 07:23 AM

Rain could help quench the last of the fires still burning in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, while snow is likely fall in the Sierra.

Redwood Valley is expected to receive 0.38 inches of rain Thursday afternoon and evening, according to the National Weather Service, while the Santa Rosa area will get a quarter-inch to a half-inch.

Cold front to bring clouds, rain, mountain snow, and breezy winds to Norcal today and Friday. #cawx pic.twitter.com/Q9BwYYtNid

— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) October 19, 2017

The Nuns and Tubbs Fires, which have burned more than 90,000 acres combined, are both at least 80 percent contained and could be fully extinguished with the right amount of rainfall, said Brian Mejia, a weather service meteorologist in the Bay Area, as could the 85-percent contained Redwood Valley Fire.

“It’ll definitely help. As far as the extent of how much it’ll help, we’re still unsure because it really depends on the exact amount that falls,” Mejia said Thursday morning. “But hopefully we can contain them and put them out entirely.”

Three to six inches of snow are predicted above 6,500 feet elevation in the Sierra as a low-pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska heads south. Winds in the North Bay and lower Sacramento Valley are expected to hover between 10 mph to 15 mph with a occasional 20-mph gust.

About 0.12 inches of rain is anticipated to drop over Sacramento between 5 and 11 p.m. Thursday, with some parts of the valley getting up to 0.3 inches, according to the weather service. It will then likely remain dry through the weekend and into next week, with highs rising from 66 degrees on Friday to 85 degrees Tuesday.

A California National Guard Black Hawk helicopter drops water on the fires east of Yountville in Napa County on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. Cal Guard sent more than 2,000 aviators and ground personnel to support Cal Fire and the other firefighting agen

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Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel