Humidity continues to drop as San Diego and much of southern California remains under a Red Flag Warning Friday, according to weathercasters.
A Red Flag Warning was issued for Thursday and Friday as conditions dry and winds pick up, according to Cal Fire.
The warning started at 10 a.m. Thursday and would last until 10 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service said. It extends from the U.S.-Mexico border north to Santa Barbara County.
A Red Flag Warning is issued when weather conditions have the potential to spark and quickly spread wildfires. A combination of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures can create critical fire weather, NWS said.
"As we remember the tragic fires that occurred in October and December of last year, they should serve as a stark reminder for everyone to be prepared for the unexpected," Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott said.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department increased their staffing Thursday due to the fire warning. Additional crews and two firefighting helicopters would be available for any fire that breaks out during this period.
Local crews, including the Carlsbad Fire Department, were also assisting Los Angeles and Ventura county crews as two wildfires burned thousands of acres overnight into Friday. About 75,000 homes were under evacuation orders Friday morning.
In San Diego County, humidity fell to 10 percent Thursday night and would drop to five percent on Friday, NBC 7’s meteorologist Sheena Parveen said.
Winds were averaging 30 miles per hour and the foothills and mountain passes could reach up to 60, according to Parveen.
On Friday morning, trackers were picking up wind gusts in Ramona at 36 miles per hour, Poway at 35 mph and Julian at 27 mph.
Some of the highest wind gusts on Thursday were reported in Campo, at 40 mph, and Mount Laguna, at 36 mph.
"These are the areas we're watching very closely especially in our mountain areas," Parveen said.
A high wind warning went into effect at midnight on Thursday. Strong winds were expected to peak Friday morning and subside around 6 p.m. this evening, though breezy conditions would last through the weekend, Parveen said.
This combination will create a "fairly strong Santa Ana set up," according to NBC 7’s meteorologist Dagmar Midcap.
Cal Fire has added more staff in preparation for strong fire conditions such as these, Pimlott said.
“However, once the winds subside somewhat Friday night, we will not be out of dangerous elevated fire weather conditions as the weekend and early next week will keep us under warm, dry and breezy offshore winds,” Midcap said.
For more information, check out today’s forecast.