Red Flag Warning Issued Amid Dry, Windy Conditions

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A red flag warning was scheduled to be in effect early Sunday through Monday afternoon for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, authorities said.

Wind gusts of 40-50 mph were expected in the coastal and Simi Valley areas, and up to 60 mph in the mountain areas, according to the National Weather Service.

“The sharp increase in offshore winds overnight will also result in rapid drying, with humidities likely falling below 15 percent in many areas after midnight,” the Weather Service said.

The warning comes at a time when precipitation levels in the region are near record lows.

Rainfall during December was 9 percent of normal in downtown Los Angeles, which recorded its driest year on record in 2013, officials said.

California’s most recent snow survey was also dismal. The statewide snowpack is currently only 25 percent of normal, adding to concerns about a possible drought in 2014.

With such arid conditions in place, fire officials reminded residents to keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.

“If you’re in a fire-prone area — a hilly area, mountains and all — back your cars into your driveway, be prepared to leave,” said Capt. Brian Jordan of the Los Angles County Fire Department. “Keep as many vehicles off the street as possible.”