Strong winds, low humidity raise fire danger 

Strong, gusty Santa Ana winds lashed parts of Southern California Saturday, bringing extremely dry conditions and raising the risk of wildfires in the region.

The National Weather Service issued high wind warnings for Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties through late afternoon.

North to northeast winds of 15 to 40 mph were felt in many areas, with the strongest winds clocked in the mountains. Malibu Hills reported gusts of 68 mph early in the day. Sustained gusts topping out at 50 mph were reported in Porter Ranch.

The weather service also issued red flag warnings of high fire danger for much of Southern California through late Saturday night because of single-digit humidity and continued gusty winds. The conditions prompted officials in Los Angeles and Riverside counties to station extra fire engines in some areas.

Despite recent rains, low humidity has left brush dry and vulnerable to fire.

Winds were expected to die down somewhat overnight into Sunday, according to NWS forecaster Carol Smith.

"It will still be quite breezy, and the very dry air mass will be over the area throughout the weekend," Smith said.

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