Fire weather watch issued for L.A. and Ventura counties starting Thursday morning

Brush burns behind homes
The Woolsey fire, which started in Ventura County and spread to Los Angeles County last November, was fueled in part by strong Santa Ana winds.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Oxnard have issued a fire weather watch for Ventura and most of Los Angeles counties that will be in effect early Thursday through Friday evening.

Moderate, possibly strong, Santa Ana winds are expected to develop in the mountains before sunrise Thursday. The winds are expected to be widespread and to peak Thursday before weakening slightly on Friday and then diminishing Saturday, according to the weather service’s Monday evening update.

The region could see a rapid onset of the Santa Anas in the valleys and along the coasts, with northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph; in the foothills and mountains, winds of 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 70 mph are expected. Temperatures could reach into the 80s, and the humidity is also expected to rapidly lower by Thursday afternoon, which means grasses and brush will be dry and quicker to burn.

“Due to the gusty winds and very dry conditions, there is high confidence for the potential for critical fire weather danger on Thursday and Friday,” the weather service said. “A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for all of Ventura County and most of Los Angeles County (except for the Antelope Valley) in effect from 3 a.m. Thursday through 8 p.m. Friday.”


Large fire growth with rapid fire spread will be possible, and officials are encouraging residents to be prepared and visit for guidance on how to best protect life and property in the event of a fire.