SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Low humidity and high winds have prompted a red-flag warning Wednesday for a vast portion of Southern California.
The warning extends to the Santa Clarita Valley, Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains, San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica Mountains as well as the valley and forest areas of Ventura County.
It will remain in effect until 9 p.m.
Overnight, forecasters said strong gusts of up to 45 mph combined with bone-dry conditions prompted officials to deploy 14 engines to fire-prone areas across the San Fernando Valley.
After checking conditions, officials determined that they would keep those assets in place, reported KCAL9 Meteorologist Kaj Goldberg.
“The most a homeowner can do is part of our plan: Ready, Set, Go. Preparing your home, having the dispensable space and having a plan with your family if something were to happen and having an evacuation kit with your valuables, medicines, clothes,” Inspector Randall Wright said. “And if an evacuation order does come, please try to follow it and evacuate quickly.”
In Porter Ranch, for instance, temperatures were 80.7 degrees with a relative humidity down to 12 percent, indicating extremely dry conditions, Goldberg reported in the 4 p.m. hour. Gusts were peaking up to 28 mph.
Mike Saenz, Battalion Chief at the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told Goldberg that these conditions could easily cause fires to scorch hundreds of acres.
“The fuel moisture and the humidity and the weather conditions that surround it can also produce very hot temperatures,” he said. “Just the fuel moisture and the compactness of the fuels that we have today, we can very easily have anywhere from 2 to 500-acre fires without even thinking about it.”
Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s, possibly 90s, in the valley areas. Winds will flow northeast from 15 to 30 mph, with gusts of up to 50 mph.