Forecasters have extended a red flag warning for the mountain and valley communities of Los Angeles and Ventura counties as a massive fire devastated the San Fernando Valley on Friday, but they said winds are expected to die down.
Those communities should continue to expect dangerous fire conditions to continue through 6 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile, the red flag warning for coastal areas, the San Gabriel Valley and the mountain and valley communities of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, expired at 6 p.m. Friday, the weather service said. Firefighters in Riverside County said they would remain vigilant as three fires continued to burn in the area Friday.
A series of blazes exploded across Southern California on Thursday, when Santa Ana winds began blowing from the north and northeast as humidities dropped to the single digits. Two people have died in the fires: a man in his 50s who suffered cardiac arrest in the Saddleridge Fire in the San Fernando Valley, and an 89-year-old woman who was found dead in a mobile home in the Sandalwood Fire in Calimesa.
Some of the strongest winds were recorded in the coastal valleys of Ventura County and L.A. County mountains, where winds blew up to 59 mph. Those top wind speeds dropped later in the day, with most in the mid-30-mph range.
Forecasters expect winds to weaken by Friday night and continue at reduced speeds on Saturday morning. Humidity will remain extremely low.
Meanwhile, a freeze warning is in effect for overnight Friday in the Antelope Valley.
Air quality officials urged people to stay indoors as smoke billowed from the fires.
Pronounced onshore wind shift expected across #SaddleridgeFire Saturday afternoon, with continued single digit humidities. Red Flag Warnings in effect until 6 pm Saturday for northern/western portions of San Fernando Valley. #LAwind #LAWeather #cawx
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 12, 2019
Several active fires in #LosAngeles & #Riverside Counties are affecting our air quality: https://t.co/Y158OoPtBX
–#SaddleridgeFire near #Sylmar, #GranadaHills & #PorterRanch
–#SandalwoodFire near #Calimesa
–#RecheFire near #MorenoValley
–#WolfFire near #Banning pic.twitter.com/wvHDNTzxKG
— South Coast AQMD (@SouthCoastAQMD) October 11, 2019
9:20 AM: Here is a 1) Map of wind gusts currently over 40 mph across #SoCal and 2) Map of relative humidity. Bone dry air is in place along with strong winds below passes and canyons as this #SantaAnaWind continues, creating critical fire weather conditions. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/fzloHpTFn3
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) October 11, 2019