San Bernardino Mountains, January 23, 2014 – There is a Fire Weather Watch in effect late tonight through Friday night, due to increasingly dry conditions and strong winds. A Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur (which would be accompanied by a Red Flag Warning).

During the last Fire Weather Warning earlier this month (January 12-14), the San Bernardino County Fire Department expanded its initial attack resources and added additional firefighters to its deployment plan.

Those traveling up or down the mountain between Thursday and Friday night should be aware that the wind gusts will be especially strong through passes and canyons leading down to the inland valley–up to 45 miles an hour at times.

All residents and visitors should keep in mind that with the lack of rainfall and snow pack making vegetation a tinderbox, it’s more dangerous than ever to leave campfires unattended, discharge a firearm or throw cigarette butts onto the ground.

The San Bernardino National Forest could once again have daytime humidities in the single digits with poor nighttime recovery. Humidity will remain extremely low over local mountains and valleys through Saturday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which is suspending burning permits at 6:00 a.m. January 24, said in a press release, “With no significant rainfall in the near future, the risk of wildfires over the next couple months will only increase. We are experiencing dry conditions that we would typically see in August.”