Red Flag Fire Warnings Issued In Orange County

Heat and dry conditions make for tinderbox conditions in Inland Orange County

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A helicopter drops water onto a brush fire reported in Bel-Air on Friday afternoon, Sept. 14, 2012.

    Another bout of dry desert winds is aiming at Southern California, timed to arrive Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

    Red Flag Warnings were issued for inland Orange County starting at 7 p.m. Sunday and lasting through the night and Monday morning.

    Red Flags were posted for the mountains of the Inland Empire and San Diego County as well.

    No Red Flags, however, were up for the mountains and valleys of Los Angeles County.

    A "Fire Weather Watch" was issued to take effect Sunday evening, and last through Monday afternoon for those areas.

    This type of watch is less severe than a warning, or a Red Flag event.

    But wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour will rake the L.A. County mountains overnight Sunday and into Monday, the NWS predicted.

    The culprit is a typical autumn high pressure system over inland deserts, which act like a giant wind blower to shove dry desert air towards the ocean.

    As the air gets compressed as it squeezes through local mountains, it gets even hotter and drier. High temperatures Monday may hit the low 90s, and relative humidity readings could drop to 7 percent, the NWES warned.

    Desert winds will arrive Sunday evening, with sustained winds of 15-25 mph and 40 mph gusts likely overnight and into Monday afternoon. That will further dry out bushes, weeds and trees that are already "critically" dry, the NWS said.

    In the Inland Empire and San Diego County, the winds were predicted to arrive Sunday morning and be a little bit stronger, the NWS said. Four days of warm and sunny weather are predicted for Southern California, followed by a strong marine layer on Wednesday, abruptly cooler weather on Thursday, and a small chance of rain Friday.

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