Red Flag conditions and strong Santa Ana winds heighten chance of wildfire

RIVERSIDE – Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour will buffet the Inland Empire and mountains of Riverside County today, meteorologists said.

In addition to the strong Santa Ana winds, warm and dry conditions have heightened the chance of wildfire in the county, according to the National Weather Service.

A red flag warning issued by the agency on Monday is to remain in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday. A red flag warning is the weather service’s most serious fire-related warning.

The Inland Empire and mountains will also see sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph out of the northeast and a low daytime humidity level of around 5 percent today, an NWS advisory said.

The agency also issued a high wind warning for the Inland Empire and mountains until noon Wednesday. A high wind warning is issued when hazardous winds capable of causing property damage are occurring or expected.

”The winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists with high profile vehicles,” an NWS advisory said. ”Watch for broken tree limbs and debris on roadways.”

Neither warning extended to the Coachella Valley.

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