Incoming Santa Ana Winds Prompt Fire Warnings

Incoming Santa Ana Winds Prompt Fire Warnings
Firefighters react to approaching flames at the Blue Ridge Fire in Yorba Linda, Calif., on Oct. 27, 2020. (David McNew/Getty Images)
City News Service

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Santa Ana winds will make a return to Southern California Jan. 14, bringing the region a taste of warm winter weather but also raising the risk of wildfires with gusty and dry conditions.

Winds began building Jan. 13  in some areas, most notably in the western San Fernando Valley, where gusts of 35 to 45 mile per hour were reported, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

A high-pressure system was building and advancing into the area, and forecasters said it will bring warm and dry conditions, pushing humidity levels down starting the afternoon of Jan. 14, possibly into the 5 to 10 percent range.

The dry conditions are expected to continue into at least Jan. 16.

A red flag warning of critical fire danger conditions will be in effect from 4 p.m. Jan. 14 to 4 p.m. Jan. 15 for the Santa Monica Mountains recreational area, Los Angeles County mountains, Angeles National Forest and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys. A separate red flag warning will also be in place during the same hours in inland Orange County and the Santa Ana mountains.

Wind gusts of 30 to 50 mph are anticipated across much of the affected areas, according to the NWS.

Forecasters said winds are expected to die down Jan. 16 through Jan. 17, but they'll pick up again early next week “with a growing potential for moderate to strong winds and red flag conditions.”

Coastal areas, which were seeing temperatures in the low 70s on Wednesday, could hit the 80s by Jan. 15, according to the NWS.

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