Valley News -

Fire weather danger persists in Riverside County through Wednesday

 

Last updated 11/12/2018 at 11:14am



RIVERSIDE - Strong and gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity and warm temperatures will persist today, with a red flag warning denoting a strong risk of wildfire in effect in the Riverside County mountains, the valleys around Riverside and the adjoining foothills.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning that went into effect at 6 a.m. Sunday in the Riverside County mountains and valleys along with the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and lasts until 5 p.m. Wednesday. The NWS also issued a high wind warning for the county mountains and valleys as well as the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning that remains in effect until 5 p.m.

Tuesday

Along with low humidity levels, the strong Santa Ana winds blowing northeast are to blame for the fire danger, with winds of 20 to 30 mph in the forecast and gusts between 50 to 60 mph possible over the Santa Ana Mountains and near the San Gorgonio Pass, according to the NWS.

Humidity levels will remain in the single digits today with no recovery overnight, according to the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index. Fuels are very dry and fires will grow rapidly and be difficult to control upon ignition.

Warm seasonal temperatures were also expected to add to the potential fire danger. High temperatures today will be 71 to 78 near Riverside, 78 degrees in Temecula, 68 to 73 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and 54 to 64 in Idyllwild, NWS forecasters said.

With the heightened fire danger, authorities recommended that residents avoid outdoor burning and have emergency preparedness kits in order.

"An emergency can happen at any time,'' a forecaster said in a statement on the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index Website. "Clean debris away from your house. Charge your cell phone and make sure you have plenty of gas.''

In Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Santa Ana winds drove a large wildfire that prompted the evacuation of at least 75,000 homes, officials said.

The Woolsey fire, which broke out Thursday afternoon, has scorched 85,500 acres and destroyed at least 177 structures.

Cal Fire projected full containment of the blaze won't come until Nov. 17.

 

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