Red Flag warning in San Diego: Swirling Santa Ana winds, low humidity increase fire danger

Posted at 5:29 AM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 18:49:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Red Flag warning signifying a high risk of dangerous, wind-driven wildfires took effect Friday morning as strong Santa Ana winds, warm temperatures and low humidity are forecast for parts of San Diego County.

The warning is in effect from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday for the county’s mountain areas and inland valleys. The gusty Santa Ana winds combined with low humidity levels -- expected to drop 15-20 percent Friday -- prompted the National Weather Service to declare the warning.

Wind gusts of 30 to 45 mph are expected Friday in the typically wind-prone areas, according to 10News Meteorologist Megan Parry. Early Friday morning, an area between Julian and Alpine reported a wind gust up to 63 mph.

Megan’s forecast calls for “summer-like” conditions across San Diego, with temperatures 5 to 15 degrees above normal.


High temperatures will be 85 to 87 degrees near the coast and inland, 86 to 91 degrees in the western valleys, 79 to 84 in the foothills, 69 to 76 in the mountains and around 87 in the deserts, NWS forecasters said.

Because of the high risk of fires, San Diego fire officials are reminding residents to take any and all precautions, including clearing dry brush surrounding their property and creating 100 feet of defensible space.

Fire officials are also warning the public that fires can also be started by human errors, such as tossing cigarettes or sparks from a vehicle. San Diegans are being urged to avoid any outdoor burning during the warning.

Residents are urged to create an emergency plan that includes which important documents, heirlooms, photos and medications to quickly gather prior to any evacuation.

County officials also recommend that residents register their mobile phones on the county's emergency-alert system, AlertSanDiego, and download the free SD Emergency App. Residents can learn more about fire safety and preparedness online at

Cal Fire and San Diego Fire-Rescue officials said staffing would be increased in light of the heightened fire weather conditions.

City News Service contributed to this report