Nearly 13,000 lose power in Southern California amid high winds, fire danger – Los Angeles Times

Nearly 13,000 lose power in Southern California amid high winds, fire danger - Los Angeles Times
Ventura County copes with brush fires, power outages, wind problems
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A red flag warning is now in effect through Friday evening for much of Southern California as strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity combine to create perfect conditions for potential wildfires.

Peak wind gusts are expected to happen between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday with gusts up to 75 mph in the Santa Monica and Los Angeles County mountains and the Angeles National Forest. Gusts of up to 55 mph are expected in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and in the Ventura County mountains and coasts.

Sunny skies and windy conditions were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 59 on Santiago Peak; 71 on Ortega highway at 2,600 feet; 78 in Fremont Canyon and Trabuco Canyon; 81 in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 82 in Mission Viejo; 83 in Yorba Linda and Fullerton; and 84 in Irvine and Anaheim. Temperatures will mostly dip slightly Friday and Saturday and drop a few degrees more on Sunday.

Gusts of up to 50 mph are expected in the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles coastal plains — including downtown L.A. — the Inland Empire, San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains.

At 3 a.m., a red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service and denoting critical fire weather conditions went into effect in the Santa Monica Mountain Recreational Area, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Angeles National Forest, the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys, Los Angeles, including the coast, metropolitan L.A., Downtown L.A. and the Hollywood Hills, and much of Ventura county.

Red Flag Warnings Now In Effect Through Friday Evening

Officials with Southern California Edison and area fire departments prepared overnight as winds moved into the area. Workers with SCE monitored the need for potential public safety power shutoffs that could impact more than 170,000 residents as fire departments dispatched strike teams to the most fire prone areas of the region — including Malibu, which just last year was devastated by the Woolsey fire, Calabasas and Santa Clarita.

In the mountains, northeast winds blew at sustained speeds of 25-45 miles per hour, gusting at 75 miles per hour, according to the NWS. In the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, northeast winds blew at speeds of 20-35 mph, along with 55-mph gusts. And in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, northeast winds of 20-30 mph were reported, along with 50-mph gusts.

Los Angeles police encouraged homeless residents living in fire prone encampments to leave in order to reduce the risk of fires starting and will begin enforcement of red flag parking restrictions later in the morning to ensure roads are clear for emergency crews and possible evacuations.

Cal Fire officials stressed the need for people to take basic preventative steps, such as not mowing lawns during high winds, not driving vehicles over extremely dry vegetation, where sparks or hot engine components might touch off a blaze, limiting campfires to designated places and being on the lookout for suspicious behavior that could be arson-related.

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In Ventura County, Fillmore Unified School District canceled classes and school activities for Thursday and Friday and moved its football game against Hueneme High to Saturday at Flashes Field. In LA County’s Santa Clarita Valley, minimum day schedules will be in effect for all schools in the Sulphur School District and for several schools in the William S. Hart School District.

Among areas that could be affected are Alpine, Banner Grade, Boulevard, Campo, Descanso, Fallbrook, Julian, Mesa Grande, Mount Laguna, Oak Grove, Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley, Potrero, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, Rincon, Santa Ysabel, Valley Center, Viejas, Vista, Warner Springs, Valley Center and Wynola.

About 65 residents in Kern County remained without power overnight after SCE determined the fire risk was high enough in the area to shut off the power. Communities impacted included Horse Canyon and Bird Spring Canyon

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning that will be in effect from noon Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday for those two areas, meaning “critical fire weather” stemming from extremely low humidity is anticipated for the duration of the easterly winds.

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Critical fire weather conditions are expected through Friday. A red flag fire weather warning covers the Santa Monica Mountain Recreational Area, San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National Forest, the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys, Los Angeles, including the coast, metropolitan LA, downtown LA and the Hollywood Hills, and much of Ventura county.


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