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Strong Winds, Low Humidty Fuel Extreme Fire Risk In SD Mountains

Above: The sun sets behind dry native vegetation.

San Diego firefighters are bracing for a second day of dangerous conditions across the mountains and deserts as strong winds and low humidity fuel the threat of wildfires.

Aired 6/19/12 on KPBS News.

San Diego firefighters are bracing for dangerous conditions across the mountains and deserts this week.

A red flag warning is in effect across the eastern portion of San Diego County through Tuesday at 11 p.m. Humidity levels will be 5-10 percent and winds could gust to 50 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Tom Piranio with Cal Fire says red flag conditions could hinder firefighting efforts underway in Campo, where a fast-moving blaze blackened 900 acres and destroyed two structures.

“Our biggest concern is the wind. As soon as you put wind on a fire, it’s going to lay down and it’s going to run. And when it runs you may run into topographic challenges – like as a hill. Fire runs much faster up hill than down,” said Piranio.

Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler said recent fires could be a good indicator of what lies ahead. "What we’re seeing is fire activity in June that we would normally see toward the end of July – so definitely a concern and something that we have to be watching out for," said Mohler.

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