The danger of rapidly spreading brush fires will increase in Southern California on Sunday evening and well into Monday as wind speeds pick up and humidity drops.

Even though high temperatures are expected to fall to the mid-70s on Sunday — 10-20 degrees lower than Saturday — strong Santa Ana winds combined with very dry vegetation could create extreme fire behavior, the National Weather Service said.

Winds of 20 to 35 mph will generate gusts of between 40 and 50 mph in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with isolated 60-mph gusts possible in the San Gabriel Mountains. Humidity levels are expected as low as 5%. In Orange County, winds of 15 to 25 mph are possible along with gusts of 35 to 50 mph, with peak gusts of 70 mph possible.

As a result, a red-flag warning is in effect from 10 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday in those areas.

In the Inland Empire, a high-wind watch is in effect from 10 p.m. Sunday to noon Monday. Northeast winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts 45 to 50 mph are forecast. Also, a red-flag warning has been issued for 10 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday for parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Fire officials urge residents to avoid activities such as mowing or parking cars on brush that could touch off a fire. Residents should also be prepared to evacuate. More information is available at readyforwildfire.org.





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