San Diego County Red Flag Warning: Strong Santa Ana winds, low humidity cause fire concerns

Posted at 5:23 AM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 20:11:55-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Strong and gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity levels and high temperatures prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag fire warning Monday in San Diego County.

The warning went into effect at 3 a.m. Monday and will last until 8 p.m. Tuesday for the county mountains and valleys.

Northeast winds of 15 to 30 miles per hour were expected Monday morning through Tuesday night, with gusts of 45 to 50 miles per hour, according to the NWS. Humidity was expected to drop to 5-10 percent Monday as well.


According to the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, "While recent rains have reduced the risk for significant fire in most areas, it has not been eliminated."

A wind advisory went into effect at 6 a.m. Sunday in coastal areas of the county. It was set to expire at 6 p.m. Monday. A wind advisory also went into effect at midnight for the county deserts. That advisory was set to expire at 8 p.m.

Warm seasonal temperatures were also expected to add to the potential fire danger. High temperatures on Monday will be 75 to 81 in the western valleys and foothills, 60 to 67 in the mountains and 78 in the deserts, NWS forecasters said.

A San Diego Gas and Electric representative said the utility turned off power lines in the Valley Center/Rincon area at about 10 a.m. Monday as a precaution. About 360 customers were affected, the company said.

The company initially said they did not plan to shut down any power lines ahead of the fire weather but were on standby in case of an emergency.

Winds were predicted to gradually decrease Tuesday night and Wednesday, and conditions will be warm and sunny the remainder of the week, forecasters said.

Check out the list and graphic below for a list of fire prevention tips from

Equipment Use Fire Prevention

  • Mow before 10 a.m., but never when it’s windy or excessively dry. Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawns, not weeds or dry grass.
  • Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks and start fires. Use caution.
  • In wildland areas, spark arresters are required on all portable gasoline-powered equipment. This includes tractors, harvesters, chainsaws, weedeaters and mowers.
  • In wildland areas, grinding and welding operations require a permit and 10 feet of clearance. Keep a shovel and a fire extinguisher ready to use.