High Winds Continue Blasting Much of Riverside County

City News Service

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Santa Ana winds continued battering parts of Riverside County Monday, prompting a high wind warning for much of the area.

The warning will remain in effect in the valleys, mountains and San Gorgonio Pass until 10 p.m., when it will be replaced with a less severe wind advisory that will stay in place until 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds on Monday were predicted at 20 to 30 mph, gusting up to 55 mph. Isolated gusts up to 65 mph were possible in some foothill areas.

When the wind advisory takes effect late Monday night, forecasters said winds will slow to 15 to 25 mph, gusting to 45 mph, with isolated bursts of 55 mph possible.

Affected areas include Riverside, Moreno Valley, Corona, Idyllwild- Pine Cove and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.

“Strong winds could damage trees and other objects,” the NWS warned. “Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”

Exposure to high-particle pollution levels can cause serious health problems including asthma attacks, heart and lung disease symptoms and increased risk of respiratory infections, the weather service said.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a windblown dust advisory for the Coachella Valley and parts of the Inland Empire that went into effect Sunday morning and was expected to last at least until Tuesday morning.

Southern California Edison continued to consider imposing Public Safety Power Shutoffs due to the high winds. As of Monday afternoon, only 163 SCE customers had their power cut as part of the program.

Utilities can activate a Public Safety Power Shutoff during peak wind events, in which power is cut in areas being battered by heavy winds that could damage electrical lines or equipment and spark wildfires.

The Riverside County Fire Department reported power lines down near Van Buren Boulevard and 56th Street in Jurupa Valley on Sunday just before 1 p.m. Van Buren Boulevard was closed between Limonite Avenue and Jurupa Road until 3:30 p.m., when SCE mitigated the hazard and firefighters cleared the scene.

Authorities said the road was reopened, but may be closed intermittently as needed while repairs were made.

A tree fire was also reported on Sunday around noon in the 8300 block of Basswood Avenue in Riverside, according to the Riverside Fire Department. Firefighters found the wind-driven fire behind the houses on Basswood Avenue, and were able to contain the fire to the backyards of four residences.

According to the Riverside FD, two outbuildings were damaged by the fire, and the high winds caused an energized power line to fail. Surrounding vegetation also caught fire, but there were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported.

Another tree fire was reported near the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Copperlantern Drive on Sunday around 1 p.m.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a palm tree on fire next to high voltage transmission lines arcing with numerous plants and shrubbery on fire around a BF Goodrich location.

Riverside Public Utilities was requested for immediate assistance to shut down power lines.

According to firefighters, embers of a fire on a palm tree ignited a trash bin fire. The roof of a nearby building also caught fire, and the incident was upgraded to a first-alarm structure fire.

Firefighters extinguished the wind-driven fire around 2 p.m. Sunday, and there were no injuries reported.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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