Moderate winds amid dry and hot conditions will increase the risk of wildfires Wednesday through Saturday in Riverside County, according to the National Weather Service.
Winds out of the west will be light in the morning, but will increase to 15-20 mph in the Riverside metropolitan area, the Coachella Valley and the Riverside County mountains Wednesday afternoon, with gusts potentially reaching 30 mph, forecasters said.
Winds in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning will be 15-25 mph on Wednesday, with gusts as high as 40 mph.
Daytime humidity throughout the county will drop to around 10-15 percent Wednesday afternoon.
The dry and windy conditions are expected to last through Saturday, increasing the risk of wildfires throughout Riverside County each afternoon, according to the NWS.
In addition, an excessive heat warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday to 9 p.m. Friday in the Coachella Valley.
Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air- conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors, according to the NWS. The agency also stresses that children, seniors and pets must never be left in a vehicle parked in hot weather, even with windows open, as interior temperatures can rapidly turn lethal.
Highs temperatures on Wednesday are expected to be in the high-80s to mid-90s in the Riverside metropolitan area, the high-80s to high-90s in the mountains, the high-90s in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and the high-100s in the Coachella Valley.
Cal Fire also warned of increased caution amid the fire danger.
“CA continues to experience an increase in wildfires & acres burned compared to last year,” the fire agency tweeted on Tuesday. “With hot temperatures & dry conditions across much of CA, it’s now more critical than ever that all Californians are prepared for wildfires.”
Cal Fire recommends visiting https://www.readyforwildfire.org/ for tips on how to prepare for wildfires.