LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gusting Santa Ana winds and dry conditions will return Wednesday, prompting forecasters to issue a red flag warning of critical wildfire conditions that will last into Friday for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
The red flag warning will take effect on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and continue through Friday at 6 p.m. in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, L.A. County mountains, the Angeles National Forest, the coastal area stretching into downtown Los Angeles, and the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.
The warning was initially scheduled for 10 p.m. Wednesday, but was moved up twelve hours.
The red flag warning will be in effect for inland Orange County and the Inland Empire during the same period.
“Northeast winds will increase starting just after sunrise on Wednesday then peak late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. Winds will gradually weaken through Saturday but will remain gusty at times,” the NWS said in a statement. “Peak wind gusts between 35 and 55 mph are expected, with isolated gusts to between 60 and 70 mph.”
Humidity levels are expected to drop Wednesday afternoon, falling as low as 2% to 8% by Thursday.
The lack of humidity creates dry conditions that elevate the risk of dangerous wildfires.
As is typical during major wind events, Southern California Edison officials warned that the utility could impose Public Safety Power Shutoffs, cutting electricity in particularly wind-prone areas to reduce the risk of wildfires being sparked by wind-damaged electrified power lines.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)