L.A., Ventura counties under red flag warning as powerful winds, low humidity increase fire danger

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A red flag warning went into effect over much of the Los Angeles area Sunday morning as gusty winds and low humidity across the Southland increased fire danger.

The warning, which covers most of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, went into effect at 9 a.m. and will be in place through 3 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Peak wind activity is expected Sunday morning and afternoon.

“Gusty Santa Ana winds are expected to continue into Monday morning, however, wind speeds are expected to be 10 to 15 mph less than Sunday,” according to the NWS. “Humidities are expected to fall to around 15 to 20 percent by mid-morning Sunday, potentially lowering to between 8 and 15 percent by Sunday afternoon and evening, and again on Monday.”

Wind gusts are expected to taper off heading into Monday, about 10 to 15 mph less than Sunday, forecasters said. Humidity throughout most of SoCal will dip to the single digits in some parts of the basin, including Anaheim, San Bernardino, Riverside and Lake Elsinore due to strong winds.

“Areas in a Red Flag Warning will have an increased risk for fires with rapid spread, long range spotting, and extreme fire behavior, especially considering the dry fuels in place across the region,” NWS said.

Wind gusts were expected to peak Sunday, according to forecasters. Officials warned that the combination of strong winds, low humidity and dry fuels can contribute to rapid fire spread.

“You want to make sure if you do have a breakdown, or if your car starts smoking on the side of the road, you don’t pull it over into that brush on the edge,” said Capt. Sara Rathburn with the L.A. County Fire Department. “We get a lot of vehicle fires that continue into wildfires. And on a day like today, they’re harder to catch.”

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