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Old 10-27-2019, 09:58 AM   #1
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Any issues traveling calif with fires?

We will be traveling from Tucson back to Seattle area next week. Plan to go straight up through calif on I-5 or 99. Is there any concerns with the fires and power outages? Are the campgrounds and fuel okay with the power outages?
Thanks ed
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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We will be traveling from Tucson back to Seattle area next week. Plan to go straight up through calif on I-5 or 99. Is there any concerns with the fires and power outages? Are the campgrounds and fuel okay with the power outages?
Thanks ed

There are no guarantees, only odds to play.


The current fire situation does not affect your planned route, at least as far as fire goes, but that cannot be said for power outages. The greatest danger, by the time you plan to go, is whether or not there are dry, windy, Santa Ana conditions along the route. Generally, these conditions dissipate after 2-3 days and the news media is hyper-sensitive to the situation so you should know.


Your greatest concern, I'm sure, is power shut-downs, which cover areas far greater than those actually "on fire." Again, you need to wait for a time closer to your trip to know if that's a factor as it only happens if the Santa Ana winds kick-up.



My opinion only, based on living in California my whole life, the odds are good that by the time of your trip the danger of fires and power shut-offs will have eased, possibly to return a few weeks later.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:14 AM   #3
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Actually leaving tomorrow, will be in Indio Tuesday.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:54 AM   #4
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Actually leaving tomorrow, will be in Indio Tuesday.
Same advice. Keep yourself updated. The current wind event is supposed to end Monday and, if so, the power shut-offs will end as well. It's then that the forecasts will become important to watch.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:33 PM   #5
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In your case I would skip I-5 and take I-15 to Las Vegas to Nevada 93 to I-84 to Seattle. There's going to be LOTS of congestion and extra fire vehicles all along I-5. It's a boring drive anyway. Plus, the camping might be filled with people escaping the fires and various fire personnel, etc.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:41 PM   #6
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I would agree on the advice to avoid California. Drive up to Vegas to Twin Falls and then Hwy 84/90 to Seattle.
Don't people usually head south to Tucson this time of year? Not the other way around.
And fuel will be much cheaper avoiding the CA fire zones....
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:25 PM   #7
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Yes but the pass in Washington has been experiencing snow!
Not doing snow!
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:52 PM   #8
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I just checked and there's no snow in the forecast up there. There are other alternatives once you get into Washington - I-84 to Portland; I-82 to Hwy 12 to I-5 or Hwy 12 to Hwy 7 into Tacoma.

Personally, I just wouldn't add to the congestion of CA I-5 with all the added fire traffic up there. If power outages the RV parks, restaurants won't have power and right now my daughter said even the cell towers are down. I'd also skip Indio and use those extra days in case you'd have to wait out snow but the forecast doesn't call for it in Nevada or Washington in the route you'd take.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:14 AM   #9
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Given added information and the time you will be traveling, I will now agree with Twogypsies, above.


High winds, up to 96mph gusts, have been forecast during the week extending beyond Wednesday. Indio is typically windy and is likely to be extremely so by Tuesday. No real fire or power outage threat, but not pleasant to drive through with a MH. Just read this morning that power cut-offs will extend into Bakersfield, up to Eureka, and to the coast to Salinas. That's quite a swath with unknown impact on campgrounds or fuel stations in surrounding areas.


Of course, high fuel prices, unique to California, are worth avoiding, IMO, if practical.


Bottom line, as things are beginning to play out and your trip time approaches, I think an alternate route outside of California would be wise. Keep in mind, however, the high winds are generated by pressure systems outside of California which may easily be along the alternate route as well. Those routes will not likely have the fire or power outage dangers, however. Keep monitoring the weather conditions along any planned route.
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:50 PM   #10
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What Twogypsies said; and, we just returned to WA about ten days ago. (from S. Cal.). We returned the way we came" Hwy. 395. It was really great. However, we went up 395 and then over to 97 and up through Bend. You can then get to 84 from there. But we went over Mt. Hood to PDX to visit family first.
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:32 PM   #11
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I would also avoid CA and I would avoid I-15 as well. I spent last winter in Phoenix and last summer in Bosie ID. Take Hwy 93 north out of Phoenix thru Las Vegas up to Twin Fall ID and then I-84 West. Better fuel prices too. Indio will have strong winds and dangerous conditions and high fuel prices. If there is snow on 93 between Vegas and Twin Falls then take I-15 from Vegas to north of Salt Lake and get on I-86 to I-84.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:44 PM   #12
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In your case I would skip I-5 and take I-15 to Las Vegas to Nevada 93 to I-84 to Seattle. There's going to be LOTS of congestion and extra fire vehicles all along I-5. It's a boring drive anyway. Plus, the camping might be filled with people escaping the fires and various fire personnel, etc.
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I would agree on the advice to avoid California. Drive up to Vegas to Twin Falls and then Hwy 84/90 to Seattle.
Don't people usually head south to Tucson this time of year? Not the other way around.
And fuel will be much cheaper avoiding the CA fire zones....

The smartest 2 answers I've read. Unless you want and like to get financially raped, stay far, far away. Good Luck
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