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Fire burning in Banning; 100-degree temperatures expected

May 01, 2013|By Kate Mather and Joseph Serna

As firefighters battled an out-of-control wildfire in Banning, weather forecasters warned of several days of fire danger and temperatures that could top 100 degrees.

Red flag warnings were issued Wednesday across Southern California as heat and dry winds were expected to turn Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains and valleys into a tinderbox.

The National Weather Service said the red flag warnings would be in effect through Thursday for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and Ventura County valleys.

Wind advisories also were in effect for mountains across Southern California, with gusts expected up to 55 mph in the mountains and 45 mph in the valleys.

Temperatures are expected to climb the rest of the week and could peak at near 100 degrees Friday in Los Angeles.

In Banning, the fire flared near North San Gorgonio Road and Summit Drive shortly after 12:30 p.m., reported Cal Fire and the Riverside County Fire Department.

As of 1:20 p.m., more than 200 firefighters were attacking the fire from the ground and air.

Banning police have evacuated residents on Indian School Lane and 8th Street, officials said. At least 120 acres have burned.

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