A red flag warning is in effect today for much of Southern California due to strong winds in Santa Ana, moderately low humidity, and very dry plants and grasses.
The wind knocked down a large platform on Highway 210, knocked down a billboard in Santa Clarita, kicked a tree on the housing in Santa Paula and threatened to intensify fires that broke out throughout the region.
One of those fires, the Towsley fire, broke out in Santa Clarita and has so far burned up to 50 acres, although no structures have been threatened, according to tweet from LA County Fire.
Cal Fire and the LA County Fire Department have additional resources to be able to respond to any new fires.
LA County County has deployed three additional strike teams around the county – one in the Malibu and Agura area, another in East Los Angeles and another in the Santa Clarita area, spokesman Henry Narvaez said.
“And they are strategically placed there so that they can jump out at some point in an initial attack if something comes up,” he said.
Each strike team includes five fire engines and 20 firefighters.
People need to be extremely careful and think beyond things like cigarettes and campfires that can cause a fire, said National Weather Service forecaster Ryan Kitel:
“Less obvious things like dragging trailers to engage trailers, even cleaning brushes or weeds that can hit rocks and ignite sparks in a dry place, all of these things have ignited before.”
Meanwhile, Southern California Edison has cut off electricity to about 55,000 customers due to the high risk of fire, especially in Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura counties.
Another 255,000 customers have been warned they may lose power; almost half of them are in Ventura County.
Some of the strongest gusts recorded today in the Santa Clarita Valley were:
- Saugus: 71 MPH (9:57 AM)
- Castaic Lake: 69 MPH (8:50 AM)
- Magic Mountain: 62 MPH (10:10 AM)
- Brown Canyon: 74 MPH (8:30 AM)
- Hot Springs RAWS: 87 MPH (8:53 AM)
- Magic Mountain Truck Trail: 86 MPH (9:50 AM)
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