A red flag warning has been extended through Sunday for much of Southern California because of the potential for heavy gusts of dry Santa Ana winds.
The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted Thursday that Santa Ana winds with “damaging” gusts between 50 and 70 mph will hit wind-prone areas of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, with isolated gusts of up to 80 mph in the mountainous regions.
Humidity values will also continue to be in the single digits, leaving a high potential for rapid fire growth. The winds could also bring downed trees and power lines.
The announcement came as Cal Fire reported that about 115,000 acres had burned in the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. The fire was just 5 percent contained Thursday evening. About 430 structures have been destroyed. Several other wildfires were also burning in Southern California.
According to the National Weather Service, this week’s winds have been the strongest and longest Santa Ana event so far this season.
In San Luis Obispo County, a pattern of moderate 13- to 24-mph Santa Lucia winds are expected to develop Thursday night and will continue through Tuesday morning, according to PG&E’s weather forecast. Increasing afternoon northwesterly winds are expected on Tuesday afternoon and into next Friday.