Red Flag Warning Issued as Santa Ana Winds Threaten Wildfire Risks

Red Flag Warning Issued as Santa Ana Winds Threaten Wildfire RisksSource: X/NWS Los Angeles
Juliette Kessler
Published on December 09, 2023

L.A. residents are bracing for a potentially perilous weekend as Santa Ana winds are set to sweep through Southern California, with officials issuing a red flag warning due to heightened wildfire risks. The National Weather Service alerts that gusts could hit 60 mph, even raging up to 70 mph in certain wind-favored areas, as dry conditions are expected to reign with humidity levels plunging to as low as 6%.

The extreme weather conditions have prompted a red flag warning effective from Saturday 8:00 a.m. to Sunday 3:00 p.m. for various regions, including the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and the Malibu Coast. According to the detailed forecast for Los Angeles, today's sunny skies and breezy conditions will evolve into stronger winds by tonight, favoring the environment the red flag warning anticipates, per the National Weather Service.

Local fire departments are not taking any chances. The Los Angeles County Fire Department is set to pre-deploy resources as a precautionary measure, and they are advising residents to have an evacuation plan ready just in case a fire erupts. "Moderate to strong north to northeast winds combined with low relative humidities will elevate the risk for extreme fire behavior if a new fire starts," according to the NWS advisories.

The weather pattern over the following days is expected to remain mostly sunny, with mild temperatures hovering in the lower 70s. Despite the picturesque days ahead, the conditions at night are set to be mostly clear and slightly cooler, with temperatures dipping into the high 40s, a stark contrast to the day's relative calm and a perfect setup for, the Santa Ana winds to wreak havoc. Residents are urged to exercise extreme caution and be ready to take the necessary actions to protect their families and properties. In their statement, the L.A. County Fire Department emphasized the importance of preparedness, telling residents to "be prepared to evacuate if a wildfire breaks out," as reported by NBC Los Angeles.