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.
A Red Flag Warning remains in effect through 10 PM for Orange/San Bernardino/Riverside Counties. Very strong winds are occurring across the mountains/coastal slopes this AM. Relative humidity values will fall as the temp rises, leading to critical fire weather conditions. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/OFaFEZsHpu
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) November 19, 2022
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.
Here is a graphic with the strongest gusts reported since midnight. The winner is Magic Mountain Truck Trail with a gust of 80 MPH.#SantaAnaWinds will increase a bit this morning, before slowly diminishing this afternoon. #CAwx #lawind pic.twitter.com/dDthv5eEcr
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) November 19, 2022
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.
With strong Santa Ana winds and very dry conditions in the forecast, @NWSSanDiego has issued a #RedFlagWarning for tomorrow, Nov. 19. We are closing our open space trails tomorrow in response to the Red Flag Warning. Trails will reopen Sunday unless the warning is extended. pic.twitter.com/St09FSxTGc
— City of Irvine (@City_of_Irvine) November 19, 2022
City News Service contributed to this report.
Source: Orange County Register