Forecasters warned of critical fire danger and potentially damaging gusts as Santa Ana winds developed in Southern California on Tuesday.
Red flag warnings for fire danger were set to go into effect at 7 p.m. and remain in effect through Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said.
The first strong Santa Anas of the season will be supported by high pressure building into the Great Basin, meteorologists said.
Santa Anas increase fire danger through the combination of powerful gusts and very dry air sweeping in from the northeast, flowing down through wind-prone mountain passes and canyons and out to sea.
California is deep in drought, but recent heavy rains are expected to help mitigate the fire weather concerns, forecasters said.
Localized gusts were predicted to continue Thursday morning, followed by more Santa Ana winds on Friday and Saturday. Forecasters said they might be equally as strong.