A red flag warning of elevated wildfire danger will remain in effect until noon Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Gusting winds and rising temperatures led to the alert, which has be in place since 10 p.m. Saturday for the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Los Angeles County mountains, Angeles National Forest and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, the NWS said.
A similar warning will be in effect until 4 p.m. Monday in Orange County inland areas and the Cleveland National Forest.
The threat comes thanks to a high-pressure system that has lead to a “moderate to strong Santa Ana wind event,” the NWS alert said.
The forecast said humidity levels could drop to the single digits in some areas, coupled with wind gusts of 55 to 65 mph in the mountains and 40 to 50 mph in the valleys.
Heightened fire danger also is possible in Los Angeles County coastal areas, according to forecasters.
“The combination of strong winds, low humidity, warm temperatures and dry fuels will bring critical fire weather conditions,” the NWS said. “Any new fire ignitions will have the potential for large growth with rapid fire spread.”
Sunday’s temperatures should rise by at least nine degrees above where they were on Saturday and hit the 80s, according to the NWS.
Highs will be in the mid-80s in Pasadena, downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach and the upper 80s in Anaheim.
Those expected temperatures are 10 to 14 degrees above normal because of a ridge of high pressure and moderate-to-strong Santa Ana winds, the NWS said.
Monday’s highs are expected to be marginally higher in several communities.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said that due to the winds and increased fire danger, the OCFA will have its 22-person firefighting hand crew on alert for 24-hour shifts. It also will fully staff two bulldozers, two water-dropping helicopters and five water tenders.
Concialdi reminded residents to stay vigilant during this wind event and prepare themselves in case they have to quickly evacuate their homes.
–City News Service
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