Gusty northeast winds, high heat and low humidity will create “critical fire weather conditions” in the mountains, forests and valley areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties from Wednesday night through Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.
An upper-level ridge is building over the region and, in addition to the heavy winds expected starting Wednesday night, will spawn “an extended period of very hot and dry conditions” in the region starting Thursday and continuing through the weekend and possibly beyond, the NWS said in a statement.
Forecasters said Wednesday night’s gusty winds would peak Thursday morning with gusts of up to 40 miles per hour in the mountains and 30 mph across the valleys. The winds will die down somewhat Thursday afternoon, then gain strength again Thursday night into Friday morning, they said, adding that as temperatures rise Thursday, humidity levels will dip to 10 percent or lower.
“The combination of high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds are likely to bring critical fire weather conditions to the Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains and valleys,” according to an NWS statement.
Critical fire conditions could spread to coastal areas Thursday morning, while high and dry heat could persist into early next week, it said.
The NWS issued a fire weather watch — a status less severe than a red flag warning — that will take effect in the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County, Ventura County’s Los Padres National Forest, both the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys and both the coastal and internal valleys of Ventura CountyWednesday night and last through Friday night.
Forecasters said temperatures would rise to up to the lower 90s by Thursday and the mid 90s Friday in the mountains and forests and climb into the 100s in the valleys.
“With extremely dry fuels in place, if fire ignition occurs, there could be rapid spread of wildfire that would lead to a threat to life and property, according to the NWS statement.