LOS ANGELES - A combination of gusty winds, low humidity and dry vegetation raises the risk of wildfire today in several mountain, forest and valley areas of the Southland, National Weather Service forecasters said.

A red flag warning, issued by the NWS to indicate a high risk of wildfire, will be in effect until 6 p.m. in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County, the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, and the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountain ranges in both counties.

Wildfire conditions could arise in other areas as well -- both in the valleys and along the coast -- but will not last long enough to warrant placing them under a red flag warning, according to the advisory.

Winds blowing at between 10 and 25 miles per hour and gusting at up to 40 mph will whip through the red flag areas, where the vegetation has become ``dry fuels'' and today's humidity level will be at only between 6 and 12 percent, according to an NWS advisory.

``If fire ignition occurs, there could be rapid spread of wildfire that would lead to a threat to life and property,'' it said.

Warm temperatures are expected today, with the NWS forecasting highs of 66 on Mount Wilson; 69 in Lancaster; 70 in Palmdale; 73 in Newport Beach; 75 in Avalon; 76 in Saugus; 78 at LAX; 83 in Anaheim, Pasadena, San Gabriel, Woodland Hills and Long Beach; and 84 in downtown L.A. A cooling trend will begin in most areas on Thursday.


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