Rainy days give way to fire danger across SoCal

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SAN DIEGO -- The weekend's rainy weather is expected to quickly give way to windy conditions ripe for wildfire by late Sunday evening, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag warning for parts of Southern California, forecasters said.

By late Sunday night, Santa Ana winds of 20-40 mph -- with isolated gusts up to 70 mph possible in some areas -- were expected to move into San Diego County, as well as Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Humidity was expected to drop rapidly to 5-10 percent on Monday as well.

The Red Flag warning will be in effect from 3 a.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Tuesday for most of the region. Los Angeles County will be placed under the warning at 10 p.m. Sunday.

The warning will affect mountains and foothills below 6,000 feet and inland valleys, but the conditions could cause fire to spark anywhere.

Moisture from the rain on Friday and Saturday will help to alleviate the fire threat, but fuels will dry quickly on Monday, NWS forecasters said.

A San Diego Gas and Electric representative said the utility company was not planning to shut down any power lines ahead of the fire weather, but will be on standby in case of an emergency.

"We don't have anything planned to proactively shut down lines, but we are going to be fully staffed in the event that the weather is severe and we need to make any efforts," SDGE spokeswoman Sabra Lattos told City News Service.

Winds were predicted to gradually decrease Tuesday night and Wednesday, and conditions will be warm and sunny the remainder of the week, forecasters said.

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