Parts of Southern California remained under threat of wildfire Wednesday amid strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity, but the winds were expected to decrease in the afternoon, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service warned overnight that “critical fire weather conditions are expected across many portions of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.”

As of 1:30 p.m., however, red-flag warnings for extreme fire danger were canceled for the San Gabriel Valley and the coastal areas of Los Angeles County, but remained in effect until 8 p.m. for the L.A. County mountains and the San Fernando Valley.

The threat was exacerbated by the dryness of vegetation following a weekend heat wave of unprecedented severity. Humidity levels were at a low 5-15 percent, according to the NWS.

“If fire ignition occurs, conditions will be favorable for rapid fire spread, long range spotting, and extreme fire behavior, which would threaten life and property,” according to the NWS.

A wind advisory was due to expire at 3 p.m. Wednesday, with gusts of 25 to 35 miles an hour in the mountains and San Gabriel, San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys expected to gradually decrease as the afternoon wears on.

Forecasters had earlier predicted gusts of up to 60 mph.

“Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects and make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles,” warned an NWS statement. “Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”

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