A hot dog during a previous heat wave. Photo via Pixabay

A week-long autumn heat wave intensified Tuesday, as temperatures flirted with triple digits across much of the Southland, but forecasters warned that more dangerous fire conditions will return later this week thanks to a strong Santa Ana wind event.

High winds had been expected throughout Tuesday morning in the mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley, but a wind advisory that was scheduled to remain in effect until noon was canceled around 9 a.m. by the National Weather Service.

The heat, however, continued to be an issue. By early afternoon, downtown Los Angeles had already reached 95 degrees, while Long Beach hit 97, Fullerton reached 98, Van Nuys hit 97 and Woodland Hills recorded 100 degrees.

A heat advisory will be in effect until 5 p.m. in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, the Los Angeles metro area including downtown, and in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

Forecasters noted that the hot weather can lead to illnesses, and they advised residents to be cautious while outside.

“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors,” according to the NWS. “Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Keep an extra eye out for heat-related illnesses in people playing or practicing sports or performing other strenuous activities.”

The hot and dry conditions continued to increase fears of wildfires. In the Los Angeles area, fire crews were working to get full containment of the 8,800 Saddleridge Fire in the northern San Fernando Valley and a 40-acre brush fire on a Pacific Palisades hillside. As of midday Tuesday, the Saddleridge Fire was 95% contained, and the Palisades fire was 10% contained.

Increasing the urgency for fire crews is the forecasted return of Santa Ana winds. Forecasters said the area will get a slight break from the heat and wind on Wednesday, but Santa Ana conditions will rage on Thursday and Friday, when a red flag warning of critical wildfire conditions will be in effect for most of the area.

“There is still some uncertainty in the strength of the winds, but peak gusts between 45 and 65 mph is the most likely outcome,” according to the NWS. “Minimum humidities will likely lower well below 10 percent, with maximum temperatures between 87 and 97. This is a dangerous situation with an environment ripe for large and fast fire growth, and a red flag warning is in effect as a result.”

The red flag warning will be in effect from 1 a.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Los Angeles County Mountains, Angeles National Forest, the coastal/metro area stretching into downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel, Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys.

A red flag warning will also be in place from 5 a.m. Thursday to 5 p.m. Friday for inland Orange County.

A high wind watch will be in effect from late Wednesday night through Friday morning for the Los Angeles County mountains and Santa Clarita Valley, with winds of 25 to 40 mph expected, along with gusts of up to 65 mph.

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