Santa Ana Winds to target Southern California late this week

Courtney Spamer

With dry weather is set to continue in California, windy conditions will spark concern for high fire danger this week.

"An elevated fire danger is expected with locally breezy to windy conditions in the mountains and upper deserts," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.

The American Fire, a grass fire that started in the hills of American Canyon around 3 p.m., on Oct. 6, has already caused the American Canyon road to close and burned a structure 50 minutes after starting, according to CBS San Francisco.

As of 8 a.m. PDT Monday, the fire had exploded to over 560 acres and was 60 percent contained. Bulldozers were sent to the area, and Cal Fire air support was called in to attempt to contain the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to Cal Fire. However, with windy conditions expected, there is the possibility that the fire could spread rapidly and unpredictably this week.

A cold front set to unleash more snow in the northern Rockies will bring the windy set up to California during the middle of the week.

"The combination of windy conditions and low humidity will bring an enhanced fire threat across not just California, but much of the West, including Nevada, Utah and Arizona," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.

The greatest fire threat, however, will be confined to the usual spots in the Sacramento Valley and parts of the L.A. Basin. In Northern California, winds will come from the northeastern corner into the Sacramento Valley.

Depending on how strong the high in the Rockies gets, this could lead to a Santa Ana wind event for parts of Southern California, with wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph.

Winds of this speed would be capable of producing downed trees and power lines. Sparks from downed lines and transformers could spark a fire as well.

Throughout the week, people should exercise extreme caution with potential ignition sources, such as outdoor campfires, power equipment and cigarette butts.

A small spark fueled by a strong wind could quickly become an uncontrollable inferno in just a few minutes.

Having an emergency bag on hand can save valuable time should a rapidly spreading fire force a quick evacuation of your property.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see the forecast for your location. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com andstay tuned to the AccuWeather Networkon DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.