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Overnight Freeze Warning a Concern for Redlands-Loma Linda Citrus Growers

Lows down to 26 were possible in east Redlands and Mentone, according to the National Weather Service. Six to eight hours of temperatures at or below 28 were possible in some areas.

A freeze warning with overnight lows in the mid to upper 20s was a possible concern for Redlands and Loma Linda citrus growers Saturday night into Sunday.

Overnight lows down to 26 were possible in east Redlands and Mentone, according to the National Weather Service. Six to eight hours of temperatures at or below 28 were possible in some areas.

Continued cold temperatures were expected to continue Sunday night and Monday night.

"Tonight may be the coldest with a hard freeze in some areas," the Weather Service advised in an updated freeze warning at 8:51 p.m. Jan. 12. "Areas of frost and below freezing temperatures are still likely Sunday night and Monday night in the wind protected areas."

Sensitive plants and crops may be damaged or killed if unprotected, forecasters warned.

It was not clear late Saturday whether citrus growers intended to smudge or use grove fans to protect vulnerable fruit and trees in Mentone, Redlands and Loma Linda groves.

One of the last times growers smudged in east Redlands and Mentone was during a cold snap in January 2007. Growers lost 60 percent of the state's citrus crop due to freezing temps that month, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday evening.

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