LOS ANGELES — Powerful winds are whipping through Southern California amid a winter heat wave that’s bringing increased fire danger.

Forecasters said Sunday that the hot, dry air will drop humidity levels into the single digits in much of greater Los Angeles. Temperatures are expected in the 80s.

Red flag warnings for critical fire weather conditions are in place through Monday in mountains and foothills down to San Diego and across the inland counties. Fire officials have deployed additional resources to be able to respond quickly in case fires break out.

A gust of 78 mph was recorded early Sunday at Mount Boney, a 2,800-foot peak in Ventura County. The National Weather Service says winds could top 50 mph in valley areas.

Southern California is well behind average rainfall for this time of year.

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