High wind warning issued for Santa Clarita Valley

Gusty Winds, Low Humidity Prompt Red Flag Fire Warning for Santa Barbara County

"A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected", the weather service said.

Forecasters were calling for north to northeast winds of 15-30 miles per hour, with gusts to 50 miles per hour.

"We are looking for it to be windy, we're calling it a cold Santa Ana - unlike your normal Santa Ana winds, where it's going to be 1,000 degrees outside, maybe temperatures of up to 80 degrees, because it's December".

"But, you should see warming throughout the week, topped out at around the low 80s", National Weather Service Meteorologist John Dumaf said.

A warning from the National Weather Service also warnedSanta Clarita Valley residents about decorations for what many consider the most wonderful time of the year. Relative humidity was expected to drop to around 15 percent.

"As a precaution, we will be staging SDG&E field crews and contract firefighters in the areas where the winds are expected to be the strongest", spokeswoman Colleen Windsor said. "If fire ignition occurs, there will be the potential for rapid spread of wildfire and extreme fire behavior that could lead to a threat to life and property".

These will be the strongest desert winds so far this season, the NWS predicted, and Santa Anas may bedevil the Southland through Saturday.

Winds will die down somewhat for Wednesday and Thursday, but intermittent strong gusts will still be possible. The winds will blow 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph, and isolated gusts of 70 to 80 mph at a few of the county's highest peaks. In addition, there is the potential for blowing dust and debris, especially near recent burn areas.



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