LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A red flag warning denoting a high risk of wildfire will be in effect from Tuesday night night through Wednesday in the mountains, forests and most valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the National Weather Service said.

“Gusty Santa Ana winds will return to Southwest California tonight into Wednesday,” according to an NWS statement. “The strongest winds will be focused across eastern Ventura and western Los Angeles counties Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, with wind gusts ranging between 35 and 45 miles per hour in wind prone areas.”

Strong winds were already starting to blow drivers around on Inland Empire freeways Tuesday.

“Yeah, we felt it right as we got to the 15 right here,” said driver Chad Cummings.

David Madueno said the Santa Ana winds makes it harder to keep a big truck like his going straight on a long haul.

“The guys that are coming down right now from Vegas, they’ll probably feel it once they start hitting right here the 215 and the 15 connector,” he said.

But the strongest gusts of 50 miles per hour will most likely be in the Santa Ana mountains and foothills.

The weather service said Santa Ana winds will bring warming and drying to the area under warning, with widespread humidity levels of 8 and 20 percent, along with high temperatures climbing well into the 80s across lower elevations.

The red flag warning is in force in the San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County, Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and all of Ventura County’s valleys to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The warning will also be in effect in coastal areas from Malibu to the Hollywood Hills and all coastal areas of Ventura County from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

“The Santa Ana winds will bring warming and drying to the watch area, with widespread humidities between 8 and 20 percent, along with temperatures climbing well into the 80s across lower elevations,” warned an NWS statement.

“If fire ignition occurs, conditions may be favorable for rapid fire spread and extreme fire behavior, which would threaten life and property.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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