Southern California is facing its strongest Santa Ana winds in a decade, with gusts possibly reaching up to 80 mph in areas.
The winds picked up late Tuesday, with the strongest gusts sweeping across the region Wednesday morning. Santa Ana and Oxnard are forecasted to have gusts over 50 mph in those morning hours.
A rarely issued "extreme" red flag warning is in effect for Southern California through 6 p.m. Thursday.
Canyon Country and Santa Clarita, which were hard hit by the Tick Fire last week, will have gusts around 50 mph, as will Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks all the way out to Camarillo, Santa Paula and Oxnard.
The forecasts are based on a model forecast, and models routinely underestimate wind gusts, so areas like Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Oxnard could hit 70 mph or even 80 mph wind gusts.
These winds will continue throughout the day on Wednesday, with the Santa Ana wildfire threat index at high when combining the high winds with the dry fuels and expected low humidity.
Another reason for the heightened wildfire threat is the long duration of the wind event, which starts Tuesday night and carries until Thursday evening.
The winds could be the strongest since October 2007, when one California's largest and most destructive wildfires started in San Diego County. The Witch Fire, fanned by strong winds, burned about 197,900 acres and destroyed 1,650 structures in San Diego County. Two deaths were attributed to the fire, which as caused by downed power lines.