Fire season hits the Southland

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Fire weather watch

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A mixture of gusty high winds, low humidity and bone- dry vegetation will create an “elevated” danger of wildfire in Southern California  from tonight through Friday night, forecasters said.

“As surface high pressure builds into the Great Basin, the stage will be set for potentially bringing the strongest and most widespread Santa Ana wind event so far this season” beginning Thursday night, according to a National Weather Service advisory.

NWS forecasters said powerful northerly winds will develop tonight, with the strongest expected to blow across Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.

“In particular, wind gusts in the 40-to-50-mph range can be expected across the Interstate 5 corridor in the Los Angeles County mountains as well as the Santa Ynez range” in Santa Barbara County, according to the NWS advisory.

A wind advisory will be in effect from noon until 9 tonight in the Antelope Valley and from 8 tonight until noon Thursday in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, the Los Angeles County portions of both the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountain ranges, and large parts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

“There will be the potential for damaging wind gusts to 60 mph across the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including the Santa Monica range,” according to an NWS advisory. NWS forecasters said the winds could make driving difficult, slamming high-profile vehicles and churning up dust and sand.

A high wind watch will be in effect from Thursday evening through Friday evening in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains.

The NWS forecast highs today of 58 on Mount Wilson; 66 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 69 in Avalon; 72 in Saugus and at LAX; 73 in Newport Beach; 75 in Long Beach, Burbank and San Gabriel; 76 in downtown L.A., Woodland Hills and Pasadena; and 77 in Anaheim. Thursday’s temperatures will be several degrees higher, up to 10 degrees in some areas, including downtown L.A.

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