Santa Ana windstorm raises fire danger throughout Inland Empire

City News Service RIVERSIDE (CNS) - The autumn season's first Santa Ana windstorm will elevate fire danger and other public safety hazards throughout Riverside County Thursday and Friday, prompting officials to urge residents to take precautions. A National Weather Service red flag warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Friday, meaning "critical fire weather'' stemming from extremely high winds and low humidity is anticipated for the duration of the easterly winds. According to the Weather Service, a ridge of high pressure settling over the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah will churn up offshore winds expected to be particularly fierce in mountains and passes. Winds of 20-35 mph are forecast across the region, with isolated gusts as high as 70 mph in narrow passages, such as the Banning Pass
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