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Searching for a better way to predict fire weather

A new system for determining when to issue red-flag fire warnings is meant to be more selective and to take into account local geography and terrain as well as wind conditions and humidity levels. San Diego County, which is highly vulnerable during strong winds, will have different criteria than Los Angeles County's foothills and mountains.

Weather experts found that there are a lot more ways for explosive wildfires to happen in the L.A. area than in Orange to San Diego counties.

"We hope to reduce warnings for conditions we learned don't produce large, damaging fires," said Mark Jackson, head meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The changes have major implications not just for fire departments, which often rely on the warnings to mobilize resources, but also for residents in some hillside areas, who are restricted from street parking during red-flag alerts.

Read the full story here.

-- Hector Becerra

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