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Local firefighters warn about wind conditions, fire risk

Valley firefighters warn about wind...

THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - Local firefighters are watching the weather and spreading the word about the dry winds blowing in our area as the fire raging throughout Southern California has heighten concerns.

Around 300 Cal Fire firefighters are battling the nearly half-dozen wildfires. Including a Thursday morning fire in Jurupa Valley that scorched three acres before it was contained.

Cal Fire-Riverside County Capt. Fernando Herrera said the biggest concern is the Santa Ana winds fueling the fires that have been burning this week.

Crews are getting the word our about high winds that are going to affect all of Riverside County.

Herrera said one area they're focusing on is the San Gorgonio Pass, with winds that could spread east of the Coachella Valley.

"Wind-driven fires start small, and then can increase in size in minutes. Down here in the Coachella Valley, we’re a little unique. We’re in flatlands. We’re not in the mountains. Nevertheless, a major wildfire down here can potentially have destructive effects," Herrera said.

"Santa Ana always brings in the high winds that reach over 50 to 60 miles per hour. Normally the rest of the year, you’ll experience some windy conditions in the 20-30 mile per hour. It’ll only last for a short period of time. Santa Ana winds, we could have several days, back-to-back of winds and so, when you do have a fire, you never know,"  Herrera said.

A number of Cal Fire crews are on call around the county, ready if another fire were to spark.

Some fire preparedness tips include clearing land around your home, making sure there's no wood or shrubbery and have an evacuation plan in place.

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