‘Critical Fire Weather’ Forecast as Winds Gust Into Dry SoCal

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As some the state’s deadliest wildfires in recorded history continue to burn in Northern California, the greater Los Angeles region on Friday is facing critical fire conditions that will persist into the weekend.

Gusty northerly winds and low humidity in the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, have combined to produce a reg flag warning that began Thursday evening.

A fire weather watch is in effect for Saturday and Sunday for L.A., Ventura, Orange counties and the Inland Empire and surrounding mountains.

“If fire ignition occurs, there will be the potential for rapid spread of wildfire and extreme fire behavior that would lead to a threat to life and property,” the National Weather Service said.

A rapid fall in humidity will take place Saturday morning as Santa Ana winds gust into the region, the service said. Relative humidities of a bare 5 to 10 percent are expected.

Winds will increase through Saturday morning, reaching their peak in the middle of the day, then peaking again early Sunday.

Firefighters in Orange County are still working to increase containment of the Canyon Fire 2, which broke out Monday morning in the Anaheim Hills. The 9,217-acre blaze, which destroyed 25 structures and damaged 48 others, was 65 percent contained as of Friday morning.

Meanwhile, in Northern California, about 300 square miles have burned in a series of fire complexes. At least 31 people have died – a number that is expected to rise – and thousands of homes have burned. Firefighters continued to gain some control of the blazes on Thursday night.