Weather warnings affecting San Diego County have been extended through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, U.S. Forest Service, and NBC 7 weather staff.
The risk of an uncontrollable fire breaking out was extreme Thursday with easterly winds of 20 to 45 mph expected and gusts exceeding 80 mph possible in the higher terrain and more wind-prone areas.
Even though temperatures will be in the mid-70s along the coast and inland valleys, it’s the drop in humidity, with Santa Ana conditions that will create the potential for a devastating fire, forecasters said.
Just after 11 a.m., a fire alongside a North County highway spread quickly and prompted evacuations. The Lilac Fire broke out near the SR-76 and I-15 interchange. Get updates on the fire here.
Under the high wind warning, in effect until 4 p.m. Friday, forecasters expect the strongest winds after daybreak morning through early afternoon Thursday.
A fire weather warning is in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday and means any fires that develop will spread rapidly and be very difficult to control.
The San Diego County Office of Education closed down schools in multiple school districts for Thursday.
- Julian Union Elementary School District - Julian Union High School District - Spencer Valley School District - Warner Unified School DistrictDistricts will continue to monitor the weather conditions and will decide if schools will remain closed further. San Diego Gas & Electric shut off power to a total of 1,019 customers Wednesday night due to high winds and dry conditions. Customers from Descanso, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, Valley Center, Jacumba, Rincon and multiple other communities did not have power. Register for AlertSanDiego to receive updates from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services in the event of a natural disaster.
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When there is high fire danger, Cal Fire recommends avoiding the following activities:
- Mowing or trimming dry grass - Burning wood or charcoal campfires - Smoking in forests or discarding smoking material in grass or brush - Pulling a vehicle over in grass - Using spark arrestors on portable gasoline powered equipment - Dragging trailer chains on the ground - Shooting firearms in county areas - Welding or using a blowtorch on projects - Burning plants or lawn cuttings