SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego region and much of Southern California will be facing increased risk for wildfires over the next week, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning Saturday.
The warning will be in effect from 3 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Thursday.
Any fires that develop will spread rapidly, NWS officials said. They recommended against outdoor burning.
High winds will begin developing in the mountains of Orange and southwestern San Bernardino counties early Monday, and spread into San Diego and Riverside counties by Monday evening. Forecasters expect winds of between 25 and 35 mph, and gusts up to 65 mph in coastal slopes and below passes and canyons.
Isolated gusts as high as 80 mph will be possible in the most wind-prone locations, forecasters said.
Moderate winds will continue Wednesday and Thursday, and weaker and more localized winds will continue into next weekend, the NWS said.
Officials predict humidity levels to drop below 10 percent during the day throughout the week.
Despite the potential for fires, the NWS predicts cooler weather for inland areas Monday and Tuesday, with temperatures in the low 70s. Temperatures will increase modestly beginning Wednesday, with expected highs in the upper 70s.
Cal Fire is increasing staff and brush engines to ensure crews will be fully equipped and ready to take on any wildfires that could ignite.
"We're staffing five additional engines of our own. We've also reached out to the city of San Diego and they're going to be staffing five brush engines as well so we'll have ten extra brush engines," a Cal Fire spokesperson said.