Santa Ana Blows in, Bringing High Fire Danger

Temperatures expected to reach 100-plus in a few spots

By R. Stickney, Eric S. Page and Whitney Southwick
|  Monday, Jan 18, 2010  |  Updated 7:36 AM PDT
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After the Station Fire: Residents Return to Ruin

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Santa Ana Blows in, Bringing High Fire Danger

Gusting offshore winds up to 40 mph or stronger will keep firefighters on their toes Wednesday during the county's red-flag warning.
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Gusting offshore winds up to 40 mph or stronger will keep firefighters on their toes Wednesday during the county's red-flag warning.

A red flag warning went into effect on Tuesday and is expected to be in place through Thursday evening due to the high winds and low humidity.

Wednesday is the first full day of fall, and is likely to be the hottest day of the week. At the coast we should see mostly 80s, while in the valleys, residents can expect to see temperatures hit the 90s, with at least a half-dozen spots hitting 100-plus.

On Tuesday, only the Ramona Airport topped the century mark -- at 104, it was a record there for the date; the Wild Animal Park settled in at 99, and only a handful of other communities even hit the mid 90s, so it wasn't nearly as warm as was expected. At the coast there was no change, as highs only reached the upper 70s.

Along with the heat on Wednesday, San Diegans can expect to feel strong, dry offshore winds gusting to 40 mph or stronger below the passes. They'll be coming out of the northeast, so it will be a true Santa Ana event, bringing with it very high fire danger.

The region will remain hot into the weekend but not as hot as on Wednesday.

San Diego Gas & Electric didn't say whether its crews would shut off power to parts of the county during peak fire danger conditions, according to the Union-Tribune. On Sept. 10, the California Public Utilities Commission denied the utility's proposed emergency power shut-off plan.

SDG&E wanted the authority to cut power to 60,000 homes and businesses in dry, windy weather -- before fires hit.

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