LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Another round of Santa Ana winds will descend on the Southland this weekend, combining with reduced humidity levels to create conditions susceptible to wildfires.
A red flag warning of critical fire conditions will be in effect from 8 a.m. Saturday to 3 p.m. Sunday for the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Calabasas, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Golden State (5) and Antelope Valley (14) freeway corridors, the Malibu Coast and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, according to the National Weather Service.
“Moderate to strong north to northeast winds combined with low relative humidities will elevate the risk for extreme fire behavior if a new fire starts,” according to the NWS.
A red flag warning is in effect for parts of Southern California this weekend as potentially damaging winds move through the region.
Forecasters said areas under the red flag warning will experience winds of 25 to 40 mph, gusting to 60 mph, with some isolated gusts of 70 mph possible in wind-prone areas. Winds will be strongest in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains and the 14 Freeway corridor, according to the NWS.
The gusting winds will be accompanied by humidity levels of 6% to 15%, with the driest conditions anticipated Sunday.
“A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly,” according to the NWS. “Use extreme caution with anything that can spark a wildfire. Residents near wildland interfaces should be prepared to evacuate if a wildfire breaks out.”
The Los Angeles County Fire Department issued a statement saying the agency is pre-deploying resources to more quickly respond to any fires that may erupt. The department urged residents to also prepare in advance by having an evacuation plan in place and be prepared for possible power outages.
Southern California Edison is prepared to initiate Public Safety Power Shutoffs if conditions demand them. Under those shutoffs, power is cut in areas experiencing high winds that could damage electrical lines and potentially spark wildfires.
As of Friday afternoon, nearly 66,000 SCE customers across a five-county area were under consideration for power shutoffs, including more than 21,000 in Los Angeles County and more than 4,600 in Orange County.