Although a red flag warning has expired for the Riverside metropolitan and mountain areas, the National Weather Service has issued a “high wind watch” for late Monday through late Tuesday.
During this period, northeast winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph, are expected.
In response to the warning, the U.S. Forest Service reported Saturday morning that it has “prepositioned” 27 engines, four crews, three air tankers and two “very large” air tankers in the Southern California mountains, which include Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties — “with more resources inbound.”
A red flag warning means any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and outdoor burning is not recommended, according to the NWS. A “wind watch” means the conditions are slightly less dangerous.
Forecasters said potentially stronger Santa Ana winds are expected Monday through Wednesday.
“Another round of more widespread and stronger northeast winds develops on Monday, peak late Monday night through Tuesday, then slowly subside for Tuesday night and Wednesday,” the NWS said. “Humidity looks higher and is expected to stay above 20 percent. There is also a chance of showers mainly for the mountains and lower deserts.”
Meanwhile, the South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a dust advisory for Riverside County that will be in effect Monday evening to Tuesday evening.
The agency warned that the strong winds may kick up sand, dust and ash in areas downwind of last year’s wildfire burn scars.
SCAQMD officials urged residents to stay indoors as much as possible during the wind event, especially those who are sensitive to airborne particles.
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