Red Flag Warning Continues as Wildfires Rage

 LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A red flag warning denoting a high risk of wildfire remained in effect today in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains because of gusty winds and exceedingly low humidity.

The warning is scheduled to expire at 8 tonight in the Santa Clarita Valley and the Santa Monica Mountains but remain in force another 24 hours in the San Gabriels and the Angeles National Forest.

Winds of between 8 and 15 miles per hour accompanied by 30-mph gusts and humidity levels of 2 to 8 percent are forecast in the Santa Monicas and Santa Clarita Valley, the National weather Service said.

Northeast winds of 10 to 25 mph with 40-mph gusts are forecast in the San Gabriels and Angeles National Forest, along with humidity levels of only 3 to 8 percent, according to the NWS. The red flag warning will be in effect in those areas at least until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

``If fire ignition occurs, there will be the potential for very rapid spread of wildfire,'' warned an NWS statement.

Wednesday will mark the 10th straight day that a red flag warning will have been in force in Los Angeles County. NWS meteorologist Curt Kaplan said that while precise records on the subject are not readily available, this is the longest run of red flag warnings he recalls in the Southland.

On Monday, when the NWS extended the red flag warning in some areas, it cancelled it in other areas where it had been in force: the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, L.A. County beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, Downtown L.A., and the Hollywood Hills.

Today's temperature highs will remain in the mid 80s in metropolitan Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and inland Orange County. They will be 10- 12 degrees above normal in much of Los Angeles County, Kaplan said.

It will be sunny today. The NWS is forecasting highs of 69 in Palmdale, Lancaster and on Mount Wilson; 75 in Avalon and Saugus; 82 in Woodland Hills; 83 in San Gabriel, Burbank and at LAX; and 84 in Downtown L.A., Long Beach and Pasadena.

Sunny skies were also expected in Orange County, along with highs of 72 in San Clemente; 75 in Newport Beach; 76 in Laguna Beach; 84 in Yorba Linda, Fullerton; Anaheim and Mission Viejo; and 85 in Irvine.

Wednesday's highs will be marginally lower.

Photo: Getty Images

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