September 30, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service in San Diego has upgraded its fire weather watch to a red flag warning. The red flag warning will be in effect from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 1st throughout most of the County, includingi nland valleys and mountains.
Weak to moderate Santa Ana winds are predicted, with gusts of 25-35 and up to 50 mph in wind-prone areas. Relative humidity is projected to drop below 10% Thursday at most locations in the County, including coastal plains. Increased humidity is expected Friday as winds shift to the southwest.
A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create “explosive fire growth potential,” according to the National Weather Service. CAL FIRE advises residents to avoid use of open flames and use of weed-clearing equipment which can cause sparking.
Due to the Red Flag conditions, CAL FIRE has proactively positioned extra equipment and staffing in the San Diego area, Battalion Chief Nick Schuler reports. This includes staffing for all CAL FIRE crews, dozers, frontline engines, reserve and camp engines, staffing for one CAL FIRE agency aviation military liaison, early call back of CSR Cal Fire initial attack fixed and rotor wing aircraft at all bases (including personnel as needed), 24-hour staffing available for the Emergency Operations Center, and additional prevention officers as needed for operations.