LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Windy conditions pose an elevated risk of wildfires across Southern California, meteorologists said Thursday.

According to the National Weather Service, a red flag warning will remain in effect until 6 p.m. on Friday for the Los Angeles mountains and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valley areas.

A fire weather watch has also been issued for the Los Angeles coast, from Malibu to the Hollywood Hills, until Friday afternoon.

“The only thing that scares me is the fires,” said Northridge resident Maureen Capra. “We’ve had several fires up here.”

A brush fire that broke out in Simi Valley on Wednesday night spread quickly to 40 acres before firefighters said they had it contained.

Strong northeast Santa Ana winds are expected to create warm, dry and windy conditions through Saturday.

Forecasters said the strongest winds will occur between Thursday night and Friday morning.

On Thursday, 42 mph gusts were recorded in San Bernardino. KCAL9’s Amber Lee recorded gusts of 32 mph in Porter Ranch.

The Los Angeles Fire Department will staff additional personnel and pre-deploy firefighting resources due to the heightened wildfire danger.

Meanwhile, freezing temperatures are expected in the Antelope Valley as a hard freeze warning remains in effect until 9 a.m., according to the NWS.

In Riverside, dry and windy conditions will increase the threat of wildfires; however, the gusts are not expected to result in a red flag warning.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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