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Extreme Fire Weather In Store For Southern California

Firefighters on the ground watch as a plane drops retardant on the Wildcat fire near the Barona Casino in Lakeside, June 17, 2015.
Christopher Maue
Firefighters on the ground watch as a plane drops retardant on the Wildcat fire near the Barona Casino in Lakeside, June 17, 2015.

Gusty Santa Ana winds and bone-dry weather will bring extreme fire danger to Southern California — while mountains father north enjoy early winter snow.

The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings and watches from Thursday morning through Friday evening for Ventura and Los Angeles counties, especially the mountains, valleys and coastline.

Winds gusting to around 40 mph and single-digit humidity could turn small fires into big ones.

There's less of a threat in Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.

Related: El Niño, Warm Ocean Temperatures Lead To Stronger Santa Ana Winds

Temperatures should start rising Thursday and could be above normal through the weekend. Highs will generally be in the 70s.

Farther north, wet weather earlier this week dumped snow in the Sierras, allowing some ski resorts to open days earlier than planned.