Sacramento fell a degree short of tying the record high temperature for the date Wednesday , but the run of unseasonably warm, dry weather continued.
That, coupled with increasing winds, led to warnings of heightened fire danger through early Saturday .
Wednesdays high in downtown Sacramento was 68 degrees. The record high for the date was 69 degrees, set in 2011. Further north, Red Bluff reached a high of 79 degrees, topping the previous record of 78 degrees for Jan. 22, said Robert Baruffaldi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Winds picked up Wednesday, increasing the fire danger, particularly on the west side of the Sacramento Valley, Baruffaldi said.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection crews on Wednesday battled a wildland fire in Placer County that started shortly after 1 p.m. south of Brewer Road and west of Roseville. CalFire officials reported that it was fully contained about 4:30 p.m., and no structures were threatened.
A red flag warning of critical fire conditions, with gusty north to east winds and low humidity was issued for the west slope of the Sierra, including the Tahoe and El Dorado National Forests. The warning is expected to be in effect until Friday morning.
A high of 67 degrees is forecast for Sacramento on Thursday, with a northwest wind around 9 mph and gusts as high as 20 mph. Thursdays overnight low is expected to be about 40 degrees.
Highs in the low 60s are forecast for the foothills, and in the mid to upper 40s for the Lake Tahoe area on Thursday.
The warm, dry conditions are expected to continue, with highs near 70 degrees forecast for the Sacramento area Saturday through Tuesday.
Call The Bees Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.