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Increasing heat, gusty winds may fuel wildfire concerns in California

by Renee Duff, Accuweather |

AccuWeather meteorologists are closely monitoring the hot, gusty pattern poised to set up over California later this week, which could elevate the risk of wildfires in parts of the state.

Intense heat gripped California during the latter part of April, but ample rainfall in southern areas earlier in the month and a lack of wind minimized the risk of early season blazes breaking out.

Temperatures will start to ramp up on Tuesday as an area of high pressure builds over the region, with each day into late week becoming increasingly hotter.

By the middle and latter part of the week, high temperatures are forecast to soar back into the lower 80s in San Diego, upper 80s to lower 90s in Downtown Los Angeles and in the 100s Fahrenheit across the deserts.

Record-challenging temperatures are not expected to be widespread with this round of heat, but a few locales could challenge daily high marks. This includes in Lancaster, Ontario, Palm Springs and Riverside.

Farther north, across the Sacramento Valley, temperatures will trend upward as well with highs mainly in the 80s Tuesday and Wednesday and then 90s Thursday and Friday.

Californians will have to find creative ways to cool off while outside as heading to the beach may not be an option for everyone.

Late last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom closed state beaches in Orange County, where large crowds were seen gathering as heat ramped up during the final weekend of April.

"We want you to enjoy sunsets, we want you to enjoy activities outdoors," Newsom said at a press briefing last Thursday. "The only thing we don't want you to do is linger."