Exceptionally hot temperatures combined with dry and gusty conditions will increase the risk of wildfires in parts of Riverside County Sunday, though cooler temperatures are on the horizon, according to the National Weather Service.

High pressure continued to build over the West Coast on Sunday, ushering in sweltering heat that ramped up quickly during the morning hours, forecasters said.

According to the NWS, Sunday’s highs were expected to reach 111 degrees in Beaumont, 114 degrees in Temecula, 118 degrees in Riverside, 121 degrees in Thermal and 122 degrees in Palm Springs.

Humidity is forecast to drop to the 15-20% range with poor overnight recovery and winds out of the east are expected to reach speeds between 15-25 mph, with gusts potentially reaching 30-40 mph near the San Gorgonio Pass.

An excessive heat warning is in effect through 8 p.m. Monday throughout Riverside County. The NWS also issued a fire weather watch through Sunday afternoon in the Riverside metropolitan area and the county mountains.

The fire weather watch comes with a warning that any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and outdoor burning is not recommended.

A brush fire developed at midday Saturday in Yucaipa, which has since charred over 2,700 acres, sending a large plume of smoke into the sky that was visible in many parts of neighboring Riverside County.

Temperatures are expected to cool by Tuesday as the high pressure system weakens, forecasters said.

The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors. Also, children, seniors and pets should be never be left unattended in a vehicle, with car interiors able to “reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes,” according to the NWS.

Riverside County has 35 cooling centers available countywide with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing protocols in place.

A full list can be found at www.capriverside.org/Cool-Centers.

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