Dangerous fire weather conditions Wednesday & Thursday, red flag warning issued

MONTEREY, Calif. - The National Weather Service in Monterey has issued a Red Flag Warning for portions of Monterey County including the Soberanes Fire and the Monterey Rangers District of the Los Padres National Forest. The warning goes into place at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and will last until 9 p.m. Thursday.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of of strong winds, low relative humidity, and drought-stressed fuels can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

West to northwest winds of 10-20 mph can be expected late Wednesday afternoon. Winds will become northwest and increase Wednesday night into Thursday morning when ridge level winds could gust from 35-40 mph.

Humidity will recover well below 2,000 feet in elevation but will continue to be very dry above 2,500 feet with values of 20-30% expected.

The highest threat is for active fire areas on the Soberanes Fire. Night operations will be adversely impacted with the strongest winds expected during the pre-dawn hours of Thursday. Excessive smoke and strong winds will likely impact air operations Thursday morning. Any existing and new spot fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.

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