SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Gusty Santa Ana winds, warm temperatures and low humidity in San Diego County's mountains and inland valleys were expected to combine Sunday night to raise the risk for wildfires over about a 24-hour span.
Red Flag and high wind warnings were set to go into effect for the mountains and valleys at 8 p.m. The high wind warning was to run until noon Monday, and the Red Flag Warning was to extend through 8 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Sustained northeast winds of up to 30 miles per hour were called likely throughout the watch periods along with gusts of more than 65 mph in some areas, according to the NWS. Daytime relative humidities as low as 5 percent add to the wildfire risk.
"A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will contribute to extreme fire behavior," according to the warning.
As of 1 p.m., peak wind gusts of 59 mph were recorded in Crestwood, 49 mph in Campo and 48 mph in Sill Hill, according to the NWS. Gusts of 58 mph or more could cause property damage.
The winds were expected to weaken Monday afternoon, but could remain close to advisory thresholds into Tuesday, forecasters said. Low humidities were also expected to persist into Tuesday.
In addition to increasing the risk for wildfires, the gusty wind could also lead to hazardous driving conditions, especially for motorists driving high profile vehicles. Forecasters advised drivers to be on the lookout for blowing dust and downed tree limbs.