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Warm Temps, Gusty Winds Raise Possibility Of 'Extreme Fire Behavior'

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(Photo by Bobby Gibbons via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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We're a week into October. That means layering up, making Halloween plans, staying up late to watch a marathon of the Phantasm movies, and... keeping a wary eye out for wildfires?

Yes, we're sorry to report that the National Weather Service has issued another red flag warning. Weather conditions this weekend will raise the "likelihood of rapid fire spread and Extreme Fire behavior" in parts of the Ventura and Los Angeles Counties for Friday. The warning will last through Saturday afternoon.

What prompts the warning? For one thing, it's going to be hot. According to the Weather Channel temperatures in downtown will reach the high 80s, which isn't too bad. But cities further out east, like Pasadena and Covina, will see temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s for both Saturday and Sunday. Frankly we're tired of this perpetual game of "finally, fall starts now" after every heat-wave, but it looks like we're locked in for another round this weekend.

Aside from the heat, there'll also be gusty winds blowing at 30 and 40 mph through Friday afternoon. The gusts are expected to die down somewhat by Saturday, but a fire danger may persist because of the heat, low humidity, and the presence of "extremely dry fuels" in the vegetation. The Los Angeles Fire Department is responding to these conditions by staffing nine extra fire engines, reports City Service News.

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But there's good news on the horizon! According to Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service, we should see a cooling trend at the beginning of next week. A low pressure area will be forming around the county, which helps circulate the sea breeze coming inland from the ocean. This begins around Monday, when temperatures start falling back to normal. By Wednesday, we'll see temperatures "four to five degrees lower than normal" (in the low 70s), according to Seto. For context, downtown averages about 79 degrees during early October.