Santa Ana winds prompt red flag warning in L.A., Ventura counties

Red flag warning issued Wednesday because of high winds, increased fire danger

Strong Santa Ana winds are expected to exceed 60 mph Wednesday, prompting firefighters to deploy additional resources because of an increased risk of brush fires.

A red flag warning was issued early Wednesday after forecasters said dry conditions, warm temperatures and strong wind gusts could raise the threat of fire.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the 80s and winds will reach 40 mph with gusts of 60 mph or greater, according to the National Weather Service.

The strongest winds will blow through the Interstate 5 corridor and could lead to hazardous driving conditions, including blowing dust.

Strong winds are expected to extend from Santa Barbara’s mountains to Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

A small fire in a riverbed in Bell was quickly extinguished early Wednesday.

In Lake View Terrace, strong winds toppled a tree. Similar scenes are possible throughout Los Angeles County, forecasters say.

Concerned about the increased fire danger because of Southern California’s extremely parched vegetation, fire departments have augmented their staffing.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection added extra fire engines, bulldozers and aircraft to the region, while the Los Angeles Fire Department planned to deploy extra firefighters starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

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