Santa Ana Winds Raise Risk of Wildfires Friday Throughout Inland Empire

Taylor Martinez

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Gusty Santa Ana winds and low humidity will significantly raise the risk of wildfires Friday throughout Riverside County, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds out of the northeast are expected to be between 20-30 mph this morning, with gusts potentially reaching 45 mph in the county mountains and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, forecasters said. Humidity will remain in the 8- 12% range throughout the day.

The strongest winds are expected early Friday morning, then the gusty conditions will diminish from the late morning through Friday afternoon, according to the NWS.

A red flag warning remains in effect through 6 p.m. Friday in the Riverside metropolitan area, the county mountains and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.

A high wind warning is also in effect until 3 p.m. Friday in those three areas.

The red flag warning means that outdoor burning is heavily discouraged because any wildfires that develop will likely spread rapidly, according to the NWS. The high wind warning advises that the gusty conditions may knock down trees or power lines, and travel will be difficult for high profile vehicles in wind-prone areas.

High temperatures Friday could reach 75 degrees in the Coachella Valley, 65 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 69 in Riverside, 67 in Lake Elsinore, 68 in Temecula, 66 in Hemet and 51 in Idyllwild.

High pressure centered near the west coast will keep temperatures above average through much of the week, forecasters said.

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