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Red flag warnings in effect throughout Southern California; firefighters battle Jurupa Valley blaze

Red flag warnings signaling a high potential for wildfires are in effect for Southern California on Saturday, Nov. 19, as strong gusts whip through the region.

The warnings were issued for Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the National Weather Service announced.

The Riverside County Fire Department reported that a two-acre wildfire in the area of Clay Street and Van Buren Boulevard, near Riverbottom, in Jurupa Valley, quickly grew to five to seven acres and that firefighting resources will be committed for a minimum of eight hours Saturday. Firefighters from the cities of Riverside and Corona are assisting in battling the blaze.

Gusts have been reported in Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino at 59 mph; Jurupa Valley at 57 mph; and Trabuco Canyon in Orange County at 55 mph.

Forecasters said mountain areas will see winds of 25 to 40 mph, with gusts reaching 40 to 60 mph in some areas, along with localized gusts up to 70 mph in windy peaks and canyons. The strongest winds are anticipated Saturday morning and afternoon.

Valley areas were expected to get winds gusting up to 50 mph, with some localized gusts reaching 60 mph in the foothills.

“Humidity levels will initially start out above critical levels at the onset of stronger winds this evening, but will lower by early Saturday morning in the 12 to 20 percent range,” the NWS said Friday.

A red flag warning, the highest alert, is issued when powerful winds and low humidity could lead to extreme fire danger within 24 hours. A fire weather watch is issued when such weather conditions could exist in the next 12 to 72 hours.

Cities around the region are closing parks and trails as a precaution.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Source: Orange County Register

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