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Santa Ana Winds bring Red Flag warnings

October 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Santa Ana Winds are back, which means a high fire danger in Southern California local mountains and passes.The breeze is starting to pick up, the Red Flag warning goes into effect at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at Waterman Canyon, and in the San Bernardino Mountains, wind gusts are expected to be up over 50 miles per hour, with relative humidity in the single digits.

You can tell just by looking at the color of the hills, a golden brown, how dry it is. Conditions are ripe for a wildfire, and it's on the minds of residents on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the devastating Slide Fire.

It was one of many wildfires roaring out of control last year. The Slide Fire burned 5,000 acres up here in the San Bernardino Mountains and destroyed 200 homes. Many of them right here in Running Springs.

One year later some residents are almost finished rebuilding. Sam Goli is one of them. His home burned to eth ground only a month after he bought it last year.

"I bought it about last year, September, and just didn't have time to enjoy the house," said Sam Goli, who is rebuilding his home. "Yeah, it burned down. So then just getting back into it trying to rebuild it has been tough."

But even though many of the trees in the area have burned and been cut down people out here seem to think the fire danger one year later is just as real

"There's still a lot of live trees here that are green and you know, you are in a hazard area here, fire danger, so it's scary still, you know?" said Goli.

The U.S. Forest Service is getting ready for a potentially busy week with a Red Flag warning. They agree people in burned out areas shouldn't get a false sense of security

"Just because a fire came through here doesn't mean that's going to keep it out of these certain areas, so there is always that chance of a fire coming back through that area," said Captain Mike Vasquez, U.S. Forest Service.

Back in Running Springs, residents who are here are getting ready. One woman has increased the defensible space around her property. Sam Goli has added hoses to every corner of his home. They don't want what happened a year ago to happen again.

Firefighters said fire danger runs up the hill into Crestline all the way East to Big Bear Lake.


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