SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Cal Fire has upped its staff level ahead of Red Flag conditions in much of Southern California, officials with the state agency announced today.

A National Weather Service Red Flag Warning is scheduled to go into effect at 3 a.m. Monday and extend until 6 p.m. Wednesday for San Diego County's valley and mountain areas including the Palomar and Descanso ranger districts of the Cleveland National Forest.

The warning of moderate to strong Santa Ana winds, with gusts of up to 50 mph and isolated gusts of 65 mph on some ridge tops and in canyons, along with low humidity will also impact much of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to Cal Fire.

``Though Cal Fire has year-round staffing in Southern California, these conditions warrant adding additional resources on for the duration of the Red Flag conditions that bring an elevated threat of wildfire,'' Southern Region Chief Dale Hutchinson said.

Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty to staff extra equipment and augment normal staffing. Officials with the agency asked residents to be cautious during the heightened fire danger.

Cal Fire officials said mowing or trimming dry grass should be avoided on windy days; vehicles should not be pulled over in dry grass; landscape debris should not be burned on ``No Burn Days'' or when it's windy; target shooting should only be conducted in approved areas, using lead ammunition and not using metal targets; campfires should be completely extinguished; spark arresters should be used on gas-powered equipment; and suspicious activity should be reported.

Posted by Amy King