Los Angeles

Wildfire Threat to Remain High Through Saturday for Parts of Southern California

Warm and very dry conditions will combine with gusty offshore winds to create elevated fire weather danger through Saturday

Red flag warnings denoting a high risk of wildfires will be in force Friday along two Southern California mountain ranges, two forests and the Santa Clarita Valley because of above-normal heat, low humidity and strong winds.

Warm and very dry conditions will combine with gusty offshore winds to create elevated fire weather danger through Saturday. Red flag warnings will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, L.A. County's Angeles National Forest, Ventura County's Los Padres National Forest, and the Santa Clarita Valley in L.A. County.

In the mountains, expect sustained northeast winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour and gusts of 40 to 45 mph amid humidity levels as low as 8 percent by this afternoon in the Santa Monicas. The same conditions will prevail in the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Gabriel mountains and the forests, but the humidity level in those areas will be at 7 percent.

Red flag conditions mean that if a fire starts, it's likely to rapidly spread due to strong winds. 

Along the coast, a beach hazards statement -- a warning only a notch less severe than a high surf advisory -- will be in force through Sunday night. In L.A. County, including at Santa Catalina Island, surf of 4-6 feet is expected, along with some 7-foot sets, as a result of a south-southwest swell. In Orange County, surf of 4-7 feet is expected, along with sets of up to 8 feet.

Ocean conditions will include dangerous rip currents, which can pull swimmers out to sea and cause drowning. If caught in a rip current, a swimmer should swim parallel to shore until able to break free.

Temperatures will run around 10 degrees higher than normal today and Saturday, NWS forecasters said after revising their forecast of Thursday that Saturday's highs would be 15 degrees above the norm.

The NWS forecast sunny skies in L.A. County today, along with highs of 84 in Avalon and on Mount Wilson; 86 at LAX; 87 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 92 in Downtown L.A; 93 in Long Beach and Saugus; 96 in San Gabriel and Burbank; 98 in Pasadena; and 99 in Woodland Hills. Saturday's highs will be roughly the same.

Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 74 in Newport Beach; 77 in San Clemente; 79 in Laguna Beach; 92 in Irvine; 93 in Anaheim; 94 in Mission Viejo; and 95 in Fullerton and Yorba Linda, with roughly similar highs in Saturday's forecast.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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