Dry, windy forecast prompts fire warning

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SAN DIEGO — Gusty winds  combined with warm weather and low humidity could increase the risk of wildfires Thursday, forecasters said.

sdfdStrong gusty wind is expected to build Wednesday night in the mountains and valleys, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue a wind advisory that will take effect at midnight and extend until 5 p.m. Thursday.

Northeast winds of 20-30 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph are expected, with the strongest wind through and below passes and canyons and near the coastal foothills.

Forecasters said the winds could make driving difficult, especially for motorists in high profile vehicles, and could blow down tree limbs.

At 5 a.m. Thursday, a fire weather watch is scheduled to go into effect for the inland valleys and mountain areas, including the Palomar and Descanso ranger districts of the Cleveland National Forest, where high temperatures, gusty wind and low humidity are expected. The watch is scheduled to last until 5 p.m. Thursday.

“A fire weather watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur,” according to the weather service.

High temperatures on Thursday are expected to be in the upper 70s and 80s on the coastal slopes and highs in the 90s are expected in the inland valleys, according to the weather service.

Wind gusts should weaken to less than 25 mph Thursday evening, but warm weather and low humidity are expected to continue into Friday, forecasters said.

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