SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (CBS SF) – A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for the wildfire-ravaged Santa Cruz Mountains starting late Monday, as hot temperatures Labor Day weekend are expected to be followed by gusty offshore winds.
The National Weather Service issued the advisory for elevations above 1,000 feet from Monday evening through Wednesday morning.
Forecasters expect sustained north to northeast winds from 10 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. The strongest winds are expected late Monday into early Tuesday.
Along with the gusty winds, humidity levels are expected to be low, ranging from 20 to 35 percent in the overnight hours, while dipping to the 10 to 20 percent range during the daytime.
Meanwhile, a Fire Weather Watch remains in effect for the North Bay Mountains and East Bay Hills above 1,000 feet, also from Monday evening through Wednesday morning.
The elevated risk for new fires comes as firefighters continue to battle the CZU Lightning Complex, the worst fires to hit the Santa Cruz Mountains in decades. As of Sunday morning, the fires have burned 86,509 acres (135.2 square miles) in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties and is 68 percent contained.
Mountain communities are currently under an Excessive Heat Warning, with highs expected to reach the 90s and 100s on Sunday and Monday.