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Update: Red Flag Warning Through Tonight

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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Mother Lode and the Stanislaus National Forest through 11 PM tonight.

The threat of isolated dry thunderstorms will end in the Central Valley later this morning, but remain possible in the foothills and mountains through this evening. Lightning from dry thunderstorms will have the potential to start new fires. Dry thunderstorms may also produce gusty wind.

There is a high probability of fire starts with any lightning. Rapid spread of fire is possible depending on terrain and local wind conditions.

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.

Additionally, an Air Quality Alert has been issued for Tuolumne County and Mariposa County, as well as Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the Central Valley portion of Kern County.

The Air Quality Alert will remain in effect until most of the numerous regional fires are extinguished.

Exposure to particle pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections. Residents are advised to use caution as conditions warrant. People with heart or lung diseases should follow their doctor`s advice for dealing with episodes of unhealthy air quality.

Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure, strenuous activities or heavy exertion, as conditions dictate.

For additional information, call your local Air District office. In Tuolumne County, 209-533-5693. In Mariposa, 209-966-2220. In Modesto, 209-557-6400. Fresno, 559-230-6000. Bakersfield, 661-381-1809.