'Red flag' fire warning in effect this weekend for SLO County

With hot temperatures and gusty winds forecast, National Weather Service issues a 'red flag' warning for parts of SLO County

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comOctober 4, 2013 

Strong offshore winds expected this weekend have prompted Cal Fire to issue its highest fire warning for parts of San Luis Obispo County.

With gusts expected to reach up to 40 mph, the ”red flag” warning is in effect through Sunday, according to Cal Fire. Because of the exceptionally dry vegetation, due to low rainfall last winter, those strong gusts can make even a simple spark ignite a major wildfire.

As a result, Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty. Meanwhile, Cal Fire urges residents to take precautions, which include not mowing or trimming grass, not parking vehicles over dry grass and not burning leaves on windy days.

According to meteorologist John Lindsey, temperatures will reach the low 80s on the Central Coast on Friday. While low relative humidity levels will cause Saturday morning temperatures to dip into the 30s in the North County, overnight lows will remain mild along the coast.

As Santa Lucia winds peak on Saturday and Sunday morning, gusts of 40 mph could occur near Morro Bay High School, coastal canyons and parts of eastern San Luis Obispo, including Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo High School and French Hospital Medical Center.

Temperatures on Saturday could reach the low 90s throughout the county, including some beaches.

Winds are expected to turn onshore Monday, when the marine layer will redevelop.

Because of the autumn winds, the National Weather Service has issued five separate red flag warnings in the state.

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