San Diego

Red Flag Warning Goes Into Effect for Mountains, Inland Valleys

Conditions are considered Santa Ana when temperatures are higher west of the mountains than east of the mountains in the desert communities. The combination of high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds creates dangerous fire conditions

A fire weather warning is in effect for San Diego County with gusty winds and low humidity expected Monday, forcing San Diego Gas and Electric to shut power off to hundreds due to an increased risk for wildfires.

NWS issued a high wind warning Monday for San Diego's mountains until 8 p.m. Tuesday. Gusts are expected to reach 25 to 40 mph with gusts to 65 mph.

Whitney Southwick's AM Forecast for October 15, 2018

SDG&E turned off the power to roughly 360 customers in the Cleveland National Forest area for public safety Monday. The utility said around 8:45 p.m. that power was restored.

Conditions are considered Santa Ana when temperatures are higher west of the mountains than east of the mountains in the desert communities. The combination of high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds creates dangerous fire conditions. 

Humidity is expected to be about 10 percent with little overnight recovery, according to NWS. By Wednesday, the humidity will increase. 

“What little rain we got over the weekend, it will be gone like that,” NBC 7's Whitney Southwick said, clicking his fingers.

“All it takes is a spark and fires spread very quickly.” 

Smithsonian's National Zoo
Yellow is marginal risk with orange signifying moderate risk.

High winds could down trees and power lines, prompting power outages; driving may be difficult especially for high profile vehicles; dust may limit visibility during this time as well, NWS said. 

"While concerns are justifiable for the fire growth potential these dry winds present, don’t forget about the non-fire-related wind damage these powerful winds can do," NWS said on Twitter

Cal Fire is increasing staff across the state as a precaution for the next two days and they are urging people to do their part by mitigating the potential for the wildfire.

Cal Fire Capt. Isaac Sanchez said don’t be fooled by the weekend rain.

“We’re going to see an increase in temperatures and of course the winds start to blow,” he said.

He said in San Diego, everyone should be on alert. 

“We have our initial attack resources that we have staffed up constantly. In addition, we’ll be staffing up additional engines and forming up some hand crews into strike team formations,” Sanchez said. 

Cal Fire has increased staffing across the state. NBC 7’s Ramon Galindo reports from La Mesa.

Cal Fire advises residents to exercise extreme caution when in or near open areas to prevent sparking a fire. 

  • Don’t mow or trim dry grass on windy days
  • Never pull your vehicle over in dry grass
  • Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal
  • Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely
  • Report any suspicious activities to prevent arson 

For more fire prevention tips and evacuation steps visit this website.

Southern California was met with torrential downpours and bursts of lightning flashes over the weekend but that rain was not enough to prevent the risk for wildfires amid Santa Ana conditions. 

Stay up to date on changing weather conditions by downloading the free NBC 7 mobile app and selecting weather as your home screen.

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