San Diego

San Diego May See Santa Ana Conditions This Weekend

Santa Ana winds are expected to be a strong factor in this Fall's fire season

San Diegans could see an elevated risk of wildfires over the weekend as potential Santa Ana conditions may bring stronger than usual winds to our region.

“Very warm and very dry,” NBC 7 weather anchor Whitney Southwick said Friday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting strong, northeast winds from Cajon Pass to northern Orange County and west of San Gorgonio Pass.

In San Diego, humidity levels have dropped over the past 24 hours, even along the coastline, Southwick said.

In our mountains, foothills and deserts, humidity levels are below 15 percent and even in single digits in some spots.

Temperatures meantime, are expected to jump back into the low 80s along the coast, low to mid 90s in the valleys and foothills.

All this, combined with the tens of thousands of acres of tinder-dry brush, spells an elevated fire danger for our County and all of Southern California through Saturday. 

Federal officials monitoring conditions throughout Southern California have flagged Friday as having marginal Santa Ana conditions for Ventura County. Monday brings a moderate risk of wildfires to that county with Tuesday also seeing a heightened risk. Orange County could see marginal Santa Ana conditions on Monday.

According to the Santa Ana Fire Threat Index, marginal risk means fires may grow rapidly. A moderate risk means upon ignition, fires will grow rapidly and will be difficult to control.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is gearing up for some of the worst wildfire conditions the county has seen in decades.

Chief Brian Fennessy recently told city officials the fuels are the driest he's seen in his 40 years working in the field.

SDFD officials said they have the staff and equipment necessary to handle blazes as they flare up. However, residents are always encouraged to do their part by clearing defensible space around their homes.

NBC 7's Audra Stafford reports how wildfires are still a major concern for San Diego firefighters even as the first day of fall approaches.
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