Dry winds trigger red-flag fire warning in L.A., Ventura counties
Southern Californians expecting a respite from strong winds will have to wait a little longer, even as some residents remain without power days after the last round.
The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning in the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Tuesday afternoon, and northeast winds are expected to reach 25 to 40 mph with the possiblity of 60 mph gusts.
About 26,000 Southern California customers remained without power as of Monday morning after last week's heavy windstorm downed power lines and electric cables. Crews have been working to restore power to customers, especially in the hard-hit San Gabriel Valley.
The latest round of strong winds could be potentially dangerous given the relatively low humidity, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Mark Savage said.
Temperatures in the Los Angeles region are expected to reach a high of 64 degrees Monday, with a low 29 degrees. The forecast calls for a sunny day with clear skies.
The winds coupled with the drier conditions created by single-digit humidity could create an environment ripe for wildfires. Savage warned residents to remain vigilant despite the cool weather.
“Just because it’s cold out does not mean we are not in fire danger,” he said. “Don’t let your guard down because it’s not hot out.”
The Fire Department has beefed up staff and pre-deployed fire engines throughout the county in response to the red-flag warning. An early response would be the best way to prevent a small brushfire from turning into a massive wildfire under the current wind conditions, Savage said.
-- Angel Jennings