Firefighters Battling Woolsey Fire Face Red Flag Conditions Through Wednesday; Chance of Rain Next Week

Forecasters extended a red flag warning for parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties through 5 p.m. Wednesday as strong winds continued to be a concern for fire crews as the destructive Woolsey Fire burned into its fifth day.

A helicopter drops water over burning embers on a hillside overlooking homes in West Hills, near Malibu on Nov. 11, 2018, as the battle to control the Woolsey Fire continued. (Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

A helicopter drops water over burning embers on a hillside overlooking homes in West Hills, near Malibu on Nov. 11, 2018, as the battle to control the Woolsey Fire continued. (Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

The expanded warning applied to the L.A. and Ventura mountains, including the Santa Monica mountains, where the blaze continued to burn. It also included the Ventura valleys and coast and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

Meanwhile, the red flag warning for the L.A. coast and the San Gabriel Valley were set to expire Tuesday at 5 p.m.

A reprieve from the hot and dry conditions may be coming during Thanksgiving week, when a chance of rain is in the forecast.

Gusty Santa Anas have contributed to the spread of the blaze, which has grown to 143 square miles and destroyed at least 370 structures, according to Cal Fire.

Ventura County Fire Department officials said containment on the blaze is expected to go up as weather conditions change.

Moderate to strong winds are expected to continue in Los Angeles and Ventura counties throughout Monday and peak into Tuesday morning. Officials

Gusts in the valleys and costal areas of both counties from Ventura to Malibu may reach 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The winds also bring warmer and dry conditions to the area, contributing to critical fire danger, the agency reported.

Fire weather conditions are elevated to critical during this time, and red flag warnings may need to be extended into Wednesday in some areas.

Smoke from the Woolsey and Hill fires is also being pushed into coastal areas of the counties by the winds, creating unhealthy conditions for residents.

On Monday, officials reported that the Hill Fire is 80 percent contained at 4,531 acres.