NORTHRIDGE, LOS ANGELES - A red flag warning remained in effect Wednesday for an area straddling Los Angeles and Ventura counties, as strong winds and low humidity levels resulted in an elevated risk of wildfire.
The warning is scheduled to remain in effect until 6 p.m. in a zone stretching from Mira Monte to Glendora, according to the National Weather Service. Part of the area was decimated by the deadly Thomas Fire, which burned more than 281,000 acres in December and January.
Gusty offshore winds of between 25 and 45 mph are forecast for parts of the San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National Forest and Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, along with humidity levels as low as 8 percent.
"For us, as firefighters, we're in brush season all the time," said Battalion Chief Stephen Ruda of the Los Angeles Fire Department, which increased staffing in some areas due to the arid conditions.
"Once those Santa Anas kick up, the hairs on the back of our necks stick up and we talk about it, we prepare," he said, referring to the region's winds. "Firefighters this morning, even at the kitchen table, we're talking about 'what ifs.' That's our job -- to talk about the 'what ifs' because we know eventually it will come."