Winds could reach up to 60 mph in the Las Vegas Valley through Friday, according to the National Weather Service. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)@bizutesfaye Wind gusts of up to 40 mph were expected Wednesday afternoon in the Las Vegas Valley as a strong cold front moves in from the north. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory and red flag warning for increased fire risk from 2 p.m. Wednesday through 5 p.m. Thursday. Winds will begin to increase Wednesday afternoon, peak in the evening and remain elevated through Thursday. Northerly winds will be 30-40 mph at their highest, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jen Varian. Earlier Wednesday, gusts up to 60 mph had been forecast. “Our models are trending down,” Varian said, adding that the wind advisory will continue overnight through Thursday. Wednesday’s high temperature should be near 89 before winds increase. As the cold front arrives, the overnight low will drop into the low 50s. Thursday will be sunny and windy with a high near 68. Areas covered by the wind advisory include Southern Nevada, southeast California and the Lower Colorado River Valley, including Lakes Mead, Mohave and Havasu. The combination of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior, the weather service warned. Motorists should use caution when driving, especially high-profile vehicles. Blowing dust could make visibility near zero at certain times.