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Dry lightning, wind predictions prompt critical fire warning through Wednesday

Photo by Greg Foster via Flickr Creative Commons

A "Red Flag" warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for fire danger across our heatwave hampered region.

Critical fire weather conditions could occur through 5 p.m. Wednesday for the mountains, valleys and deserts of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

According to forecasters, thunderstorms containing little or no rainfall -- but with potential for dry lightning and wind gusts -- could occur as low pressure drops along the California coast.

Meteorologist Stuart Seto told KPCC that dry lightning strikes could fuel wildfires.

"There’s not a lot of precipitation with these storms. So it’s like regular lightning, but the precipitation isn’t there to put out the fires. And also with these thunderstorms, there could be gusty outflow winds. And that’s mainly winds that are coming out of thunderstorms that could enhance some of the fires."

Seto said storm gusts could blow up to 50 mph.

Flash flood watches are in effect until 8 p.m. on Tuesday for inland mountains and deserts of San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties.

North of L.A., Monday's 102-degree high in Lancaster brought the area's record-setting streak of triple-digit heat to 23 days, according to NWS.