Santa Ana winds: Red flag warnings issued across Southland

A red flag warning is in effect across Southern California, with the National Weather Service warning that incoming Santa Ana winds are creating a serious fire hazard across the region.

Forecasters expect wind gusts up to 50 mph across L.A.-area mountain ranges and desert communities and warn the wind and single-digit humidity is making Los Angeles and Ventura counties -- excluding the Antelope Valley -- vulnerable to fast-moving fires.

Southern California wildfires: Full coverage

Since the spring, state firefighters have been inundated with fast-moving, raging wildfires in both Southern and Northern California. Firefighters have battled more than 5,600 fires that have burned more than 146,000 acres so far this year. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the five-year average is 4,000 wildfires through September.

CalFire Chief Ken Pimlott said vegetation is dangerously dry.


“When you add in strong winds,” he said, “it makes this time of year a perfect recipe for wildfires.”

The National Weather Service said temperatures will be in the 90s in inland areas and that wind gusts up to 70 mph are possible for mountains in Ventura and Los Angeles counties through Sunday.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department will be staffing 22 additional firefighter positions, as well as two strike teams of fire engines and lighter brush patrol trucks, Inspector Anthony Akins said.

The department will also have additional water tenders and other resources in areas that include Malibu and the Santa Clarita Valley.

Red flag warnings and fire weather watches have also been issued for the Bay Area, the Sacramento Valley and northeastern California.

CalFire said it will beef up its stations across the state so that firefighters will be ready for an aggressive attack if wildfires break out.


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