Winds caused damage throught Pasadena. Weather forecasters are warning of high winds starting Thursday.

Winds caused damage throught Pasadena. Weather forecasters are warning of high winds starting Thursday. (Times Community News / October 25, 2012)

Weather forecasters have issued red flag warnings for much of the Southland for what "will likely be the strongest and most widespread Santa Ana wind event of the season."

"These critical fire weather conditions combined with very dry fuels will bring extreme fire danger to the Southland," the National Weather Service said in a statement Wednesday.

Red flag fire warnings signaling extreme wildland fire conditions have been issued for Southern California counties because of Santa Ana winds of up to 65 mph that are expected to blow across the region.

Northeast winds are expected to gust up to 65 mph in mountain areas and up to 45 mph along the coast. Relative humidity could drop into the single digits, according to the weather service.

Firefighters urged residents to create “defensible spaces” by clearing dead vegetation, weeds and undergrowth within 100 feet of their homes.

They should also remove leaves and needles from gutters surrounding the home, according to a warning issued by the Glendale Fire Department, and have an evacuation plan in place.

Glendale firefighters said their red flag warning would take effect at 8 p.m. Thursday and last through 2 p.m. Saturday.

That National Weather Service, meanwhile, issued a wind advisory for the region, with gusts of up to 50 mph possible through Friday.

The Santa Ana conditions are expected to push temperatures in the tri-city region into the mid-80s through the weekend.

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News

Follow Jason Wells on Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells