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Fire Weather Watch Issued Ahead Of Santa Ana Wind Event

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for the Inland Empire in anticipation of gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity and continued high temperatures.

The Snow fire in Whitewater, CA.
WHITEWATER, CA - SEPTEMBER 18, 2020: The Snow fire burns out of control in the canyons to the south of Interstate 10 as a freight train passes by on September 18, 2020 in Whitewater, California. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The watch will take effect at 3 a.m. Friday and continue until 6 p.m. that evening. The watch coincides with a heat advisory for the region that started Monday and will remain in effect until 5 p.m. Friday.

According to the National Weather Service, humidity is expected to drop into the single digits Friday, causing extremely dry conditions just as winds with sustained speeds between 15 and 25 mph — with gusts of up to 45 mph — move into the area.

"Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly," the NWS said in a statement. "Outdoor burning is not recommended."

Temperatures in the Riverside metropolitan area are predicted to range into the high 90s until Sunday, while the Coachella and Temecula valleys are expected to see triple-digit temperatures for the rest of the week, according to the NWS.

Forecasters said the most intense winds would be in passes, including the San Gorgonio Pass between Whitewater and Cherry Valley, where multiple fires have erupted in the current wildfire season.

The watch will also be in effect for Ventura and Los Angeles mountains as well as the Santa Clarita Valley.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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