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High Winds, Dry Weather Spawn Red Flag Warnings

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By Louisa Hodge

SANTA CLARITA (CBS) — Red flag warnings were in effect Monday in parts of Southern California, as high winds combined with low humidity had firefighters on alert.

Firefighters said their main concern was the amount of time that the winds and low humidity have been present, beginning late last Wednesday.

On Monday flags stretched and palm trees swayed, as the winds continued to dry brush below — a recipe for critical fire conditions.

“If everything gets into alignment with winds, the slope and topography and the type of fuels, older fuels and things like that, there’s a chance for a fire to start, get established and spread,” said Battalion Chief Buck Buchanan of the L.A. County Fire Department.

Buchanan said that with the micro-climates, winds vary greatly from area to area, so firefighters were not letting their guard down.

“The top of area called ‘camp 9’ we had winds I believe that were as high as 60-miles an hour,” he said.

Caltrans sings along the freeways through the Antelope Valley warned of high-wind alerts. Northeasterly winds rolled through the Santa Clarita Valley.

In San Bernardino residents bundled up, as street signs whipped around wildly.

Although the winds Monday may have paled to the destructive ones that came the week before, fire officials warned that the fire concerns were actually greater.

“The more time that the winds and temperatures and drop in humidity get applied to the fuels, they begin to lose their moisture,” Buchanan said.

Proof Buchanan said that fire season in Southern California is never over.

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