A red flag warning signifying wildfire conditions is in effect in most of L.A. and Orange County for a second day Friday amid strong, gusty Santa Ana winds and single-digit humidity levels — conditions that are triggering home-destroying wildfires, including one straddling L.A. and Ventura counties.
“A strong Santa Ana wind event will continue to develop today over Ventura and Los Angeles counties, and continuing through Friday evening,” the National Weather service said in a statement, adding that the strongest winds will occur Friday morning with northeasterly winds gusting at between 50 and 70 miles per hour. At the same time, humidity levels were dropping to single digits and temperature highs were expected to hit the 80s.
“There will be an overall break in the winds Saturday and Saturday night. However, beginning Sunday, another round of Santa Ana winds is expected to develop with the gusty winds lasting through Tuesday,” according to the NWS statement.
The NWS said “very dry” conditions would persist, contributing to “critical fire weather conditions across Ventura and Los Angeles counties.”
The red flag warning, which went into effect at 10 Thursday morning and expires at 10 Friday evening, is in force in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, the Angeles National Forest, the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys, L.A. County Beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, the Downtown area, the Hollywood Hills, several areas of Ventura County, and inland Orange County, according to the National Weather Service. No warning was issued for the Antelope Valley.
Forty-mile-per-hour gusts were expected in the city of Los Angeles but will hit 55 mph most everywhere else in the red flag warning zone, broadcasters said.
Over a 24-hour period ending at 4:30 Friday morning, the NWS recorded strong gusts over a wide area — 77 mph at Camp Nine in the San Gabriel Mountains, 74 mph at Fremont Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County, 60 mph in Malibu, 54 mph in Santiago Canyon in inland Orange County and 53 mph in Tustin.
A brush fire driven by 50 to 60 mph wind gusts that broke out in Ventura County west of Chatsworth and is zero percent contained jumped the Ventura (101) Freeway near Chesebro Road in Agoura Hills Friday morning and was burning on the south side of the freeway in areas that were evacuated hours earlier. Several structures have been destroyed in the 8,000-acre blaze, but by 7 a.m. the Woolsey Fire had caused no deaths or injuries.
The city of Malibu in its entirety was under an evacuation order Friday morning because of the fire, along with parts of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village.
The NWS forecast sunny skies Friday and highs of 66 degrees on Mount Wilson; 67 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 72 in Saugus; 80 in Woodland Hills; 81 in Pasadena and San Gabriel; 82 in Avalon; 83 in Downtown L.A.; 84 at LAX; and 85 in Long Beach.
Sunny skies were also expected in Orange County, along with highs of 58 on Santiago Peak; 72 on Ortega Highway at the 2,600-foot level; 75 in Fremont Canyon; 77 in Trabuco Canyon; 80 in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo; 82 in San Clemente and Yorba Linda; 83 in Irvine; 84 in Anaheim; and 85 in Fullerton.
Temperatures will remain at roughla the same level in L.A. and Orange County through at least Thursday.