Red flag warning in the Santa Cruz Mountains

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Santa Cruz County starting this weekend.

The warning includes the Diablo Range in Santa Clara County and The Santa Cruz Mountains from 11 a.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Tuesday.

A classic autumn fire weather pattern is forecast to develop later this weekend into early next week. Warm temperatures, low humidity and gusty north winds will coincide with critically dry fuels. Current indications suggest this will be the strongest offshore wind event so far this fall.

-North to northeast winds above 2000ft of 10-20mph, gusting to 30-40mph in the Santa Cruz Mountains and 15-30 mph with frequent gusts of 40-55 mph expected in the Diablo Range.

-12-25% humidity in the afternoons, recovering to 20-30% overnight.

-Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

A RED FLAG WARNING means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

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