Photo via OnScene.TV.
Recent massive brush fire. Officials worry Santa Ana winds are creating conditions for another outbreak. Photo via OnScene.TV.

Searing heat and dry, hot Santa Ana winds will hit Southern California Sunday and Monday, bringing increased fire danger, hazardous driving conditions and health risks for kids, pets and older people.

Temperatures in local valleys will be in the triple digits, downtown Los Angeles could see highs in the mid-90s and the mercury will soar into the mid 80s at the beaches. The Los Angeles area may be sot hot temperatures downtown Monday could be hotter than in Palm Springs.

Southern California’s famed and scary Santa Ana winds from a massive high pressure system, low humidity and drought-driven dry vegetation will all combine to create a tense couple of days for firefighters worried about the outbreak of any kind of large brush blaze. A “red flag” fire warning was in effect.

But in addition to fire worries, the high temperatures and winds will create real health hazards.

“Overexposure to heat could lead to heat illness, especially for people at risk, including the elderly and children,” the National Weather Service warned. “Pets are also at risk.”

Driving may bring other dangers as forecasters issued a wind advisory through Monday.

“A wind advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.”

Officials had other warnings for anyone working or exercising.

“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.”

Red flag warnings of the threat of wildfires will continue through Sunday afternoon in mountain, forest and valley areas of Southern California.

The warnings will be in effect in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, L.A. County’s Angeles National Forest, Ventura County’s Los Padres National Forest, and the Santa Clarita Valley.

Forecasters warned the threat will persist because of strong Santa Ana winds, dry vegetation and low humidity.

Northeast winds of 15 to 30 miles per hour gusting to between 35 and 45 mph are expected in the mountains and forests through Sunday, along with humidity levels of only between 5 and 15 percent, according to a National Weather Service statement.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, north-to-northwest winds of between 15 and 25 mph with gusts of between 30 and 40 mph are expected through today amid humidity levels of between 10 and 20 percent, it said.

In the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Fernando Valley, a red flag warning will be in effect until 2 p.m. because of winds of between 15 and 25 mph, gusts of up to 35 mph, and humidity levels in single digits and low teens, according to the NWS.

In these conditions, “if fire ignition occurs, there could be rapid spread of wildfire,” leading to a loss of life and property, the statement said.

The NWS forecast calls for temperatures up to 100 degrees or more in Woodland Hills, then continuing to climb until Tuesday, when a downward trend will begin in several communities.

— City News Service

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