Red-flag fire warning still in effect; LAFD boosts staffing

A red-flag warning was still in effect in Los Angeles and Ventura counties Sunday, as gusty winds and dry conditions were expected to increase fire danger, according to the National Weather Service.

Northeast winds combined with low humidity and a particularly dry season prompted the warning, which is in effect until Monday at 4 p.m.


Winds are gusting between 50 and 55 mph in the mountains and between 40 and 45 mph in coastal and valley areas, said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Temperatures were warmer Sunday, due to the northeast winds, with highs in the 70s in downtown Los Angeles, and highs in the lower-to-mid 70s in the valleys, he said. Humidity is expected to be in the single digits and low teens through Monday.

The Los Angeles Fire Department has increased staffing by about 100 personnel and 11 additional engines, particularly in places known to have high fire danger, said spokesman Brian Humphrey. No wind-driven incidents have been reported thus far, he said.

The past calendar year was the driest season on record for downtown Los Angeles since 1877, and the region has gotten less than an inch of rain since July 1 — about 3.77 inches less than usual, Sweet said.

"The area needs rain," he said. "Since we are having a very dry season and we haven't gotten any rainfall recently, the hillside conditions are drier than normal."

Motorists should be aware of strong crosswinds, and large vehicles should be driven with care, he said.


Twitter: @Sam_Schaefer