San Diego Red Flag warning: Fire risk remains as strong Santa Ana winds swirl across county

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Strong and gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity levels and warm temperatures will persist Tuesday, with a Red Flag fire warning denoting a strong risk of wildfire in effect in San Diego County.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning that went into effect at 3 a.m. Monday and lasts until 8 p.m. Tuesday for the county mountains and valleys.

Northeast winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour were expected Tuesday morning, with gusts of 45 miles per hour, according to the NWS. Humidity was expected to drop to around 10 percent on Tuesday as well.

Warm seasonal temperatures were also expected to add to the potential fire danger. High temperatures today will be 77 to 82 degrees in the western valleys and foothills, 62 to 69 in the mountains and 76 to 81 in the deserts, NWS forecasters said.

According to Cal Fire San Diego Unit Chief Tony Mecham, residents should take measures to safeguard themselves and their homes, including clearing flammable vegetation to create roughly 100 feet of "defensible space" around residences; developing an emergency evacuation plan; and planning in advance 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 ReadySanDiego.org.

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

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