Gusty Santa Ana winds were sweeping through San Diego County Monday amid dry conditions, raising the risk of wildfires in the mountains and the inland valleys, according to the National Weather Service.
Among the strongest local gusts recorded, according to the agency, were ones that hit 52 mph in Fallbrook; 51 mph in Boulevard; 50 mph on Big Black Mountain; 49 mph in Mataguay; 46 mph at Mount Laguna Observatory and in Ranchita; 44 mph in Ranchita; 42 mph in Crestwood and Mesa Grande; and 40 mph in Julian.
Forecasters said humidity will drop to around 5-10% with poor overnight recovery. That will create an elevated risk of wildfires in the mountains and the western valleys through Tuesday, according to the NWS.
To reduce the risk of wildfire in some parts of North County, San Diego Gas & Electric notified about 21,480 residents over the weekend that it may have to turn off power Monday and Tuesday. About 10 Monday morning, the utility shut off power for 2,743 customers in Fallbrook. All affected customers were back on line shortly before 5:30 p.m.
Another 18,738 customers in the areas of Camp Pendleton, East San Juan Capistrano, Oceanside and Pala Reservation could have their power shut off at some point Monday and Tuesday, according to SDG&E.
Power shutoffs are approved by state regulators as a safety tool to mitigate fire risk during dangerous weather conditions.
A community resource center is available daily from 8 a.m. 10 p.m. at the Fallbrook Branch Library, 124 S. Mission Road.
A map of areas at risk of power shutoffs is available at sdge.com/ready.
The winds are expected to calm by Tuesday night, then temperatures throughout the county will warm to slightly above average by Thursday, forecasters said.
Updated at 7:50 p.m. Oct. 26, 2020
— City News Service