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Red Flag Remains In Effect For San Diego County Due To ‘Extreme Fire’ Conditions

The sign for the Cal Fire San Diego Unit Headquarters in El Cajon, Nov. 13, 2...

Photo by Bennett Lacy

Above: The sign for the Cal Fire San Diego Unit Headquarters in El Cajon, Nov. 13, 2018.

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A red flag warning advising of "extreme" fire weather conditions because of strong Santa Ana winds and very low humidity will last until 6 p.m. Thursday in San Diego County, according to the National Weather Service.

Aired: October 31, 2019 | Transcript

A red flag warning advising of "extreme" fire weather conditions because of strong Santa Ana winds and very low humidity will last until 6 p.m. Thursday in San Diego County, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning was issued for the county mountains and valleys, where winds out of the east and northeast are expected to blow at between 20-30 mph and gusts could reach 50 mph, forecasters said. Relative humidity will drop as low as 5% by late this morning, with little or no recovery expected on Friday.

The strongest winds are expected this morning, then the winds will gradually diminish this afternoon, forecasters said.

The threat was deemed moderate Thursday, according to the Sana Ana Wildfire Threa

t Index, which means that "upon ignition, fires will grow rapidly and will be difficult to control."

A high wind warning will also be in effect until noon Thursday in the mountains and valleys. Officials warned that damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines, while travel will be especially difficult for high- profile vehicles.

High temperatures Thursday could reach 76 degrees near the coast and inland, 81 in the western valleys, 76 near the foothills, 69 in the mountains and 73 in the deserts.

San Diego Gas & Electric officials said the utility was considering precautionary power shutoffs for more than 40,000 customers. The shutoffs would be implemented to de-energize power lines in danger of being damaged or downed by strong winds, potentially sparking wildfires.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, SDG&E said that there were two customers without power, down from 20,000 the day before. The utility said they are working to get power back up as weather conditions improve.

If power is shut off for an extended period of time, SDG&E may open community resource centers where residents can get water and snacks, charge their phones and get up-to-date information about the outages.

A full list of the center locations can be found here.

The San Diego County Office of Education announced that campuses in the Dehesa School District, Mountain Empire Unified School District, Rancho Santa Fe School District, Spencer Valley School District, Vallecitos School District, Valley-Center Pauma Unified School District and all schools in Julian would be closed today because of the power shutoffs.

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