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Santa Ana winds put Southland on fire watch

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A perfect storm of strong winds and extremely dry weather have heightened fire risk concerns for local weather experts.

The first Santa Ana wind event of the season will descend on the area on Monday, with gusts reaching up to 75 miles per hour.

Due to the combination of factors, a red flag fire warning has been issued for Ventura and Los Angeles County for Wednesday, which will go into effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The winds, which will be fueled by the high pressure building in the Great Basin, will begin to pick up late Tuesday.

The Los Angeles County Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys, as well as coastal Malibu are expected to be affected.

Some gusts can reach between 55 and 75 miles per hour in the LA County Mountains, according to a National Weather Service report. The cold weather also lowers humidity levels, which can be conducive to fire conditions.

Much of the same is expected across Southland, where winds of up to 60 miles per hour can be seen in the valleys and along the coasts, where humidity will be between 8% and 15%.

“If a fire does start, there can be a rapid spread of wildfire that can lead to a threat to life and property,” the National Weather Service said Monday.