A combination of gusty winds, low humidity and dry vegetation has prompted a red flag warning in the mountains around Malibu through tonight.
A red flag warning, issued by the NWS to indicate a high risk of wildfire, will be in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Santa Monica Mountains around Malibu, the Santa Clarita Valley, the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County and the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County.
Wildfire conditions could arise in other areas as well -- both in the valleys and along the coast -- but will not last long enough to warrant placing them under a red flag warning, according to the advisory.
Winds blowing at between 10 and 25 miles per hour and gusting at up to 40 mph will whip through the red flag areas, where the vegetation has become "dry fuels'' and today's humidity level will be at only between 6 and 12 percent, according to an NWS advisory.
"If fire ignition occurs, there could be rapid spread of wildfire that would lead to a threat to life and property,'' it said.
Todays high in Malibu is expected to reach 65, dropping to 56 degrees overnight, the NWS reported.
A cooling trend will begin in most areas on Thursday.
-City News Service contributed to this report.