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Santa Ana winds, rising temperatures bring heightened wildfire risk

Green vegetation is mixed with dry chaparral as hikers walk along a dirt trail in Runyon Canyon Park on Sept. 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. With tinder dry brush and Santa Ana winds possible, the Southland is at risk of big brushfires.

Green vegetation is mixed with dry chaparral as hikers walk along a dirt trail in Runyon Canyon Park on Sept. 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. With tinder dry brush and Santa Ana winds possible, the Southland is at risk of big brushfires.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Climbing temperatures and Santa Ana winds will raise the danger of a fast-spreading wildfire in Southern California this week, the National Weather Service warned.

Starting Thursday, temperatures are expected to climb while the humidity will drop and winds will dry out whatever moisture remains in valley and mountain vegetation, meteorologist David Sweet said.

“We’re in a situation where large fires are possible,” Sweet said.

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The Angeles National Forest is among the areas susceptible to wildfires, he said.

By Friday, temperatures will hover in the 80s while humidity could be in the single digits, raising the chance of red-flag conditions across the Southland, Sweet said. Forecasters on Wednesday afternoon will consider issuing a red-flag warning for later in the week, he said.

Along with the warmer temperatures, a steady 15 to 25 mph wind with gusts up to 40 mph will blow across coastal valleys from Los Angeles to Ventura counties. Winds could top 50 mph in the mountains, the weather service said.

Though the winds are expected to die down by Saturday, the heat is expected to remain, Sweet said.

It’s a completely different story in the high desert, however. A hard freeze warning in effect Wednesday morning could remain Thursday, Sweet said. Overnight temperatures in the Antelope Valley were expected to drop into the mid-20s, the weather service said.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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