California Wildfires

River Bottom Brush Fire Grows Overnight to More Than 40 Acres in Riverside County

The Peralta Fire started ahead of a hot, dry and windy day in Southern California.

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Firefighters are increasing containment of a brush fire that started late Thursday in Riverside County during a week of warm and dry conditions in Southern California.

The Peralta Fire in a river bottom just west of Riverside near Jurupa Regional Park was 30-percent contained early Friday after burning an estimated 43 acres. The fire posed no immediate threat to homes near Riverview and Kern drives.

The fire started during a day of critical wildfire conditions in the drought-stricken region.

In the Los Angeles County mountains, a red flag warning will be in effect Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. Expect hot and windy conditions into the weekend as a dry air mass settles in. Potentially dangerous fire conditions are forecast for the 5 Freeway corrider north of Los Angeles.

The warning means any fires that start are likely to spread quicky as winds fans flames in dry brush.
Northwest winds are anticipated in the area from 15 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph. Humidity levels will fall between 6% and 12% during the day.

Conditions will gradually cool next week. Coastal areas will continue to be cooled by a nightly marine layer.

Fuel moisture levels are well below historic averages in parts of Southern California, meaning vegetation is drying out more quickly this year. The state is coming of one of its driest late winters on record, leaving hillsides covered in dry brush.

California continues to face longer wildfire seasons as a direct result of climate change, according to CAL FIRE.

"Extended dryness originating from January is expected to continue into the spring with little precipitation, leaving most of the state in moderate to extreme drought conditions prior to summer," the state's firefighting agency said in a 2022 fire season outlook. "These continued dry conditions, with above normal temperatures through spring, will leave fuel moisture levels lower than normal, increasing the potential for wildland fire activity."

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