Santa Ana winds and low humidity are expected Wednesday, significantly raising the threat of wildfires in most parts of Riverside County, according to the National Weather Service.
The agency issued a red flag warning for the Riverside metropolitan area, the Riverside County mountains and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning that will last until 8 p.m. Wednesday. The Coachella Valley was not included in the advisory.
Temperatures will warm up as winds out of the northeast sweep through the mountains and into parts of the valleys Wednesday, forecasters said. Humidity levels are also expected drop to 10-15 percent during the day.
Sustained winds are expected to reach 15-25 mph, with gusts potentially topping out at 35 mph through mountain passes, forecasters said. The winds are expected to peak Wednesday morning or early Wednesday afternoon, then slowly subside through the evening.
These conditions mean outdoor burning is not recommended and any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly, according to the NWS. Residents are also advised to bring flammable objects indoors, have an emergency kit ready to go with at least a half-tank of gas in the car and keep phones charged.
High temperatures Wednesday could reach 95 degrees in the Coachella Valley, 96 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 93 in Riverside, 91 in Lake Elsinore, 92 in Temecula, 92 in Hemet and 76 in Idyllwild.