An L.A. County Fire Department engine is seen on Thursday, July 12, 2012. Local Olympic athlete Lashinda Demus is seen getting ready to train in hot weather on Thursday, July 12, 2012.

Firefighters are on alert on Thursday due to a threat of wildfires. A red-flag warning has been issued for the mountain areas in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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Even with the clouds hiding the sun, temperatures in Palmdale were closing in on the 100-degree mark. The desert heat may not be new to residents, but it's still not comfortable. But discomfort isn't the only concern. The heat wave is drying out the vegetation in the Antelope Valley, and that has firefighters worried.

A red-flag warning takes effect at noon and will run until 9 p.m., and there's a possibility of dry lightning.

"We don't have any rain or anything that's going to basically wet everything down," said Capt. John Ahten of the L.A. County Fire Department.

Ahten urged the public to cooperate and be mindful of camp fires and where cigarettes are thrown.

There's also an increased chance of thunderstorms due to monsoonal moisture inching our way in our mountains and deserts. Flash-flood watches will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for the Apple and Lucerne Valleys.

Authorities reminded people who have to be outside to drink plenty of water, find shade and avoid strenuous activities.

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Cooling center locations have been established throughout L.A. and San Bernardino counties. See a list of locations here, or dial 211 to find a cooling center near you.

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