Red Flag Warnings for High Desert Valleys, Inland Empire Mountains

Heat watch, wind advisories also issued for some areas

High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity prompted red flag fire warnings across Southern California on Tuesday.

The warning is in effect for Antelope Valley until 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Warnings were also issued from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. for mountains in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, parts of the Coachella Valley and some of San Diego County. Temperatures in those areas climbed near 100 degrees and wind gusts reached 50 mph.

Fire officials said these flag warnings, which indicate a heightened possibility of wild fires, are indicitative of what to expect this summer.

Rainfall at this time last year reached 89 percent of normal, while this year rainfall has hovered around 45 percent of normal.

That lack of rainfall combined with dense brush has exacerbated an already dangerous wildfire season, fire officials said. Nearly 94 percent of wildfires are started by people.

“It doesn’t take much, you know, it just takes a cigarette being thrown out, kids playing with matches,” said Daniel Rodriguez with LA County Fire Department.

In Palmdale, winds measured around 20 mph Tuesday, enough to prompt firefighters to add extra staff.

Residents in the area are no strangers to wildfires. Glorida Hudson experienced the Crown Fire in 2010, when flames rushed down the mountainside, visible from Hudson's front door.

“It looked like snow, but it was just dark … uncomfortable because you could hardly breathe," she said.

In addition to Red Flag Warnings, an excessive heat watch was also issued for Riverside County, and wind advisories were in effect for Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Tuesday's high for the valleys was 85, with a low of 54. The Inland Empire had a high of 86 and a low 58.

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