PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — A Red Flag warning will be in effect Monday through Wednesday due to potentially strong Santa Ana winds and low humidities, the National Weather Service said.
The warning was issued for Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
“Fire season 2013 has just rolled right into fire season 2014, so it’s just going to cause those folks in Southern California and other fire-prone areas to be extra vigilant,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Justin McGough said.
Wind gusts of up to 60 mph were expected to arrive in the Hollywood Hills and mountains above Malibu around 3 a.m., officials said.
“I feel like we’re going to get blown away,” said Priscilla Haalstad, as she juggled two kids and a shopping cart outside a Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch.
Parking restrictions were also in effect for Pasadena, however, Red Flag zones within the City of Los Angeles have yet to be activated.
The windy conditions will be accompanied by relative low humidity between 10 and 15 percent on Monday and in the single digits through Wednesday.
“When you get those two in alignment it’s going to be explosive for fire conditions so we’re staffing up in anticipation of that,” said Inspector Tony Akins of the LA County Fire Department.
Additional firefighters were being added to crews with departments across the city and county in anticipation of a large scale fire event.
LA County has added 120 additional firefighters on-duty through this red flag warning.
In Riverside County, fire crews at Hemet-Ryan Airport Attack Base generally shut down operations at the end of November when fire season typically ends. But dangerous conditions have only become worse so they’ve kept a fixed-wing aircraft, two airtankers and an air attack aircraft at the ready.
“We’re seeing fuel moistures, lack of rainfall, fuels that are dead — just like we’ve previously seen at the end of fire season,” McGough said.
Similar plans were also in place for Orange County, officials said.
Temperatures were expected to range from the upper 70s to low 80 through midweek.
The Red Flag Warning is expected to expire at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
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