Santa Ana winds to whip East County Thursday and Friday

Strong Santa Ana winds will blow through East County on Thursday and Friday morning, once again raising the prospect of wildfires in a region that’s experiencing record low rainfall.

The National Weather Service says the winds will gust up to 65 mph as they curve over and down the Cuyamaca Mountains and spread through such areas as Alpine, Julian and Pine Valley, where the winds will be weaker, but still strong enough to spread fire.

The relative humidity will fall below 20 percent during that period.

The National Weather Service says that a red flag weather watch will go into effect early Thursday morning and last until 10 a.m. on Friday. The watch may be upgraded to a red flag fire weather warning.

SDG&E customers should check to see whether the utility is expecting to turn off the power in some areas during the storm to avoid fires that can arise when power lines through off sparks.

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