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Red Flag Warning in Effect in San Diego This Weekend

A red flag warning denoting a high risk of wildfire will be in effect this weekend in the mountains and valleys of San Diego County. The warning will be in effect from 3 a.m. tomorrow through 8 p.m. Sunday.

The National Weather Service said it issued the warning because of an
expected return of Santa Ana winds combined with a prolonged period of low
humidity -- in the 10 percent range. It said, however, that the winds would not
be as fierce as those that fanned the fires that broke out last month.

``High pressure will develop in the Great Basin and bring low humidities
to the area and locally gusty winds through and below mountain passes and
canyons,'' according to an NWS.

Northeast winds will develop late tonight, resulting in extremely dry
air beginning early tomorrow morning.

Winds will blow at strengths of 15 to 25 miles per hour, with ``very
isolated '' gusts of nearly 45 mph, according to the NWS advisory.

It said the winds likely will be at their strongest between 6 a.m. and
noon tomorrow below the Cajon Pass and in the foothills of northeastern Orange County, where the Santiago Fire is 90 percent contained.

The red flag warning covers covers the region's inland valleys and
mountain areas, including the Palomar and Descanso Ranger Districts of the Cleveland National Forest in the Santa Mountains.

The warning also applies to the mountains and valleys of Riverside and
San Bernardino counties.

Fire crews, meanwhile, continued to battle the the Poomacha Fire, the
last of the San Diego County wildfires stemming from last month's dry
conditions. The blaze is 85 percent contained after scorching 50,156 acres,
according to Cal Fire.

More than 2,000 firefighters are fighting the fire and expect to have it
fully contained by tomorrow, Cal Fire said.

Since breaking out on the La Jolla Indian Reservation on Oct. 23, the
Poomacha fire has destroyed 143 homes and injured 13 firefighters. Authorities say it has cost nearly $13 million to fight.

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