Strong winds are on the way to Southern California, and they will bring an extreme wildfire risk for much of the region along with them.
The National Weather Service issued a fire-weather-watch alert that begins early Thursday morning when the winds pick up, although the region might get blustery weather as soon as Wednesday night.
Hot, dry Santa Ana winds send temperatures soaring and decrease humidity levels – the perfect recipe for sparking destructive fires and helping them grow.
“The gusty Santa Ana winds, along with warm temperatures in the 70s and 80s and very dry conditions, will bring a strong concern for critical fire danger to the region,” NWS meteorologists for Los Angeles said. “There is the potential for rapid fire growth and extreme fire danger if ignition occurs.”
Wind gusts could be as strong as 70 miles per hour in mountain areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties on Thursday, according to the NWS. Across coastal and valley areas, including in Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, wind gusts were expected to reach between 50 and 55 miles per hour.