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85 MPH Wind Gust Near Julian, Power Off in 30+ Communities

A red flag warning issued for San Diego County extends from the desert to the ocean Monday as hurricane-force wind gusts are reported in the East County.

Add in humidity in the single digits and our region will see extreme fire danger over the next two days.

Humidity will drop between 5 and 10 percent over the next couple of days. Winds will be east for most of the area near 20 to 40 mph for inland valleys, with 60+ mph gusts closer to the mountains and canyons.

“This is going to all the way to the coast,” said NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen.

A high wind warning was in effect Monday for inland valleys and mountains.

Brian D’Agostino, Director of Fire Science and Climate Adaptation said SDG&E is closely monitoring the wind event using 177 weather stations.

“We’ve seen the hurricane-force gusts north of Descanso with gusts already into the mid-80s,” he said. “But we’ve been seeing widespread gusts over 50 all across the back country.”

D’Agostino said that’s expected to continue through the night and into Tuesday. 

As of 10:33 a.m., gusts of 85 mph were recorded at Sill Hill (south of Julian) with gusts above 60 recorded near Golden Acorn Casino along Interstate 8 and wind gusts above 55 recorded in Alpine and Boulder Creek (west of Lake Cuyamaca).

As of 11:30 a.m. Monday, SDG&E shut off power to customers in Clairemont, Bay Park and Morena as a precaution.

Earlier in the day, service was cut off for customers living in Warner Springs, Dulzura, Potrero, Campo, Jamul, Lyons Valley, Barrett Lake, Dehesa, Alpine, Japatul Valley, Buckman Springs, Morena Village, Otay Lake, Otay Mesa, Viejas, Boulder Creek, Pine Valley, Mount Laguna, Valley Center, Pauma Valley, Santa Ysabel, Lake Henshaw, Ramona, San Diego Country Estates, Wynola, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, and  Julian/Kentwood in the Pines areas as a safety precaution because of the high winds and low humidity, according to the utility.

SDG&E has dispatched a large, one megawatt generated to the Julian community to help serve the businesses in the downtown area, D’Agostino said.

“I know a lot of people are off today. Some barbecues out there. Maybe a little yard work,” Parveen said. “Do not burn anything. Don’t do anything that’s going to cause a spark.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting strong Santa Ana winds through Tuesday.  Read details about the red flag warning here.

Explosive fire growth is possible with any fire starts. 

On Sunday, a small brush fire threatened homes in the populated Otay Ranch neighborhood of Chula Vista. Fire officials said no homes were damaged. The cause of the fire is under investigation but one battalion chief said it’s believed to be arson.

A Fallbrook man was spotted near the start of a 5-acre brush fire Sunday that started behind Daniel’s Market and jumped the road into some trees. One outbuilding was destroyed and the man was arrested on charges of arson.

Photo Credit: SDG&E
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Source: NBC San Diego

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