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Santa Ana winds and critical fire weather heading to Los Angeles

The threat of fire weather continued to plague California on Monday as high winds, dry heat and the potential for power outages loomed across much of the state.

The Los Angeles area will experience high to critical fire weather conditions through Tuesday, the National Weather Service said, including a wind event in Santa Ana that collides with a warming and drying trend.

Wind gusts as strong as 40 mph are possible over the mountains of western Los Angeles County, the Santa Clarita Valley, and the mountains and valleys of eastern Ventura County. The Gaviota area could see isolated gusts of up to 55 mph.

Those winds will combine with low humidity of 8% and temperatures of up to 97 degrees, officials said – a perfect recipe for the fire.

“Gusty winds and low relative humidity increase our concern,” said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the Oxnard National Weather Service. “If a fire were to break out, there is the potential for rapid spread. “

Authorities are warning residents to avoid fire-related activities and to use caution with any source of sparks. Already on Monday, firefighters were working to contain a brush fire near Pyramid Lake that ignited when a vehicle fire spread to nearby vegetation.

Dubbed the Emigrant Fire, the blaze started on Friday and quickly collided with high winds and dried vegetation, swelling up to 255 acres with 65% containment on Monday morning. The blaze spread rapidly in a northerly direction amid the “hot, dry weather and wind,” officials said.

Los Angeles is not the only region facing fire weather conditions. Central California will see temperatures as high as 10 degrees above normal through Tuesday, with plenty of interior zones expected to hit triple digits.

Meanwhile, red flag warnings indicating the potential for a significant fire hazard have been issued in parts of northern California, including parts of the bay area and Sacramento and as far north as Redding. The National Weather Service has said wind gusts as strong as 50 mph are possible in some areas.

The conditions prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to institute public safety power outages in 10 counties to prevent their equipment from starting a fire, as it appears to have done with the Dixie fire in northern California earlier this year.

The fire – the second largest in California history – reached 963,000 acres and was still burning on Monday. This may have been triggered when a tree fell into a power line in Feather River Canyon, PG&E said.

The victims of this fire, which reduced to ruins more than 1,300 houses, lodged a complaint against the public service.

A red flag warning has also been issued over Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, where the KNP complex fire ravaged more than 23,000 acres, officials said. The combination of wind and drought could cause problems for crews fighting to protect the park’s beloved giant sequoias.

The majority of power outages Monday and Tuesday will be in northern and central California, according to PG&E. More than 7,100 customers were already without electricity on Monday morning.

PG&E triggers outages when “gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with an increased fire risk, are forecast,” the agency said.