Red Flag Warning in Effect Across County

High temperatures and strong winds are on their way

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    Cal Fire has increased staffing and equipment across its 18 San Diego County stations amid a red flag warning. NBC 7’s Liberty Zabala explains how firefighters are gearing up for this week’s fire danger. (Published Sunday, May 11, 2014)

     Warmer weather and strong winds are heading for San Diego County, and a red flag warning has gone into effect Sunday. 

    The National Weather Service issued the warning at 6 a.m. as strong gusty winds and low humidity move through the area. The prime fire conditions will last until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

    Man Arrested After Fire Burns in Riverbed

    [DGO] Man Arrested After Fire Burns in Riverbed
    A small grill may caused a one-acre brush fire in a Chula Vista riverbed. NBC 7's Omari Fleming explains who police say is responsible. (Published Sunday, May 11, 2014)

    High temperatures will be in the 80s at the coast and 90s inland by Monday, heating up as the week moves on.

    The dry weather, combined with strong winds and hot temperatures, could create extreme fire conditions, the NWS warns.

    Greg Bledsoe's AM Forecast for Sunday, May 11, 2014

    [DGO] Greg Bledsoe's AM Forecast for Sunday, May 11, 2014
    Greg Bledsoe's AM Forecast for Sunday, May 11, 2014 (Published Sunday, May 11, 2014)

    Meanwhile, Cal Fire crews are staying on high alert, ready to respond to a blaze. During the red flag warning, the agency has increased its staffing and equipment across its 18 stations.

    That includes additional camp crews, two extra water tenders and 24/7 bulldozer staffing. 

    "With what's happening with our weather pattern that we're seeing right now, with this multi-year drought, we have real concerns about what the outlook of the summer could be like," said Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser. "Certainly everything is lining up that it could be a real bad fire season."

    Firefighters are putting full force behind stamping out even the smallest sparks. Oceanside Fire crews doused a brush fire Sunday morning after it threatened homes. 

    On Saturday night, crews rushed to put out a fire in the bottom of a riverbed near Broadway and C Street.

    Police say a transient was cooking dinner on a small grill when it fell over and sparked the flames, which grew to about an acre before they were completely doused around 10 p.m.

    The man told police he had tried to stop the fire, but it started ranging out of control too fast. However, he took off running when emergency crews arrived. Police caught him and took him into custody.

    Bortisser told NBC 7 that 95 percent of all fires are caused by humans, so officials are asking the public to be extra cautious.