Red flag warning expires, firefighters still on alert - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Red flag warning expires, firefighters still on alert

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Gusty winds whipped across inland valley and mountain areas in San Diego County Saturday, heightening the risk of wildfire, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS issued a Red Flag Warning for both the inland valleys and mountain areas including the Palomar and Descanso ranger districts of the Cleveland National Forest. It was set to remain in effect until 6 p.m.

A Red Flag Warning is issued when high winds combine with low humidity and warmer temperatures to create a risk of wildfire.

"A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly," according to the NWS. "A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential."

The agency also issued a wind advisory for San Diego County mountains and valleys set to remain in effect until noon. Northeast to eastern winds of between 15 and 25 miles per hour were expected with gusts that could reach up to 50 mph through and below passes and canyons.

Forecasters said the strongest winds would blow near ridge tops, along coastal mountain slopes and the adjacent foothill areas.

The NWS recorded gusts of around 40 mph since midnight in the mountains and coastal foothills.

"The winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists with high profile vehicles," according to the NWS advisory. "Watch for broken tree limbs and downed power lines."

The winds should gradually diminish throughout the day and become more localized this afternoon, according to the NWS.

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