Environment & Science

Dry, hot winds elevate fire risk across Southern California

File: A U.S. Forest Service fire station off San Francisquito Canyon Road north of Santa Clarita maintains a sign informing motorists of local fire danger.
File: A U.S. Forest Service fire station off San Francisquito Canyon Road north of Santa Clarita maintains a sign informing motorists of local fire danger.
Stuart Palley for KPCC

A red flag warning is in effect Monday for L.A. County mountains, the Antelope Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley due to hot, dry weather conditions that make fire danger especially severe. The warning is in effect until 9 p.m.

Wind gusts of up to 40 miles an hour could make for a smoky afternoon for areas near the Placerita Fire, the National Weather Service's Curt Kaplan told KPCC. The fire has burned 870 acres and is 50 percent contained.

"If for whatever reason it does re-fire up, it could be plume-driven — which means that if it rises, the plume could go very high in the atmosphere, and the smoke would be pushed toward the Antelope Valley," Kaplan said. 

A heat advisory is also in effect until 9 p.m. Monday for the Inland Empire, inland Orange County and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys. Temperatures are expected to hit triple digits in those areas.

There is some relief in sight — forecasters say the long heat wave will begin to ease Tuesday.