High Winds, Low Humidity Prompt Critical Fire Danger Warning for SoCal

Powerful winds, low humidity and landscapes left very dry from years of drought could create critical fire danger conditions in the Southland this week, starting Wednesday, forecasters said.

Firefighters in Santa Clarita battled the Sand fire in July amid sweltering temperatures and heavy winds. (Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Firefighters in Santa Clarita battled the Sand fire in July amid sweltering temperatures and heavy winds. (Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Gusty, northerly “sundowner” winds, with gusts up to 40 mph, are expected to begin Wednesday evening along the western edge of the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The strong winds will spread to the mountain areas in Ventura and Los Angeles counties Thursday, with gusts of 45 to 55 mph possible and humidity in the teens according to the weather service, according to the weather service.

The Interstate 5 Corridor near Santa Clarita and portions of the Antelope Valley are expected to be particularly hard-hit by the winds, Seto said. Local gusts of up to 60 mph are possible around Whitaker Peak, near Castaic.

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