Warm temperatures, low humidity and strong gusts have prompted forecasters to issue wind and fire warnings for the East Bay hills, the National Weather Service said today.

A wind advisory is in effect from 11 p.m. today until noon Wednesday for the East Bay hills and Diablo Range. The weather service said a dry cold front moving across the region is expected to produce winds of 30-45 mph and as strong as 55 mph in high terrain. An advisory is issued partly to warn motorists — especially those operating high-profile vehicles such as SUVs and rigs — to drive cautiously.

Along with the wind warning, the weather service said low humidity has severely dried out vegetation that typically fuels grassland fires in the area. Combined with the expected gusts, the dryness has prompted the agency to issue a red-flag warning, alerting local fire departments of increased fire risk. The warning is effective beginning at 9 p.m. tonight and is set to expire 6 a.m. Thursday.

Reach Robert Salonga at 925-943-8013 or rsalonga@bayareanewsgroup.com.