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80 mph Santa Ana winds possible as fire conditions turn 'explosive'

November 30, 2011 | 10:55 am

High wind and red flag warnings were issued Wednesday in anticipation of gusts that could reach 80 mph and create what a spokeswoman called “explosive” fire conditions in Southern California.

WindsIntense Santa Ana winds are expected to begin hitting mountain passes in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties Wednesday afternoon and continue into Friday, the National Weather Service said.

Advisories warn that the winds could take down trees and power lines, spread debris and create hazardous driving conditions.

The high winds, combined with low humidity in the mountain regions, will create conditions conductive to fire, the weather service advised.

“If a fire were to get going, there’s very little that would hold it back,” meteorologist Carol Smith.

The winds should begin diminishing by Friday evening, Smith said.

And as the winds pass through, temperatures will drop as much as 15 degrees in the valleys.

Downtown and along the coast, temperatures will be more moderate, cooling from the mid-70s to the high 60s later in the week.

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-- Matt Stevens

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