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Red Flag Warning remains in effect

October 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's concern as Santa Ana winds continue to whip across southern California, especially for those who are veterans of foothills fires.The calendar may say it's the third week of October, but it's going to feel like the third week of July. Temperatures were expected to hit the upper 90s in the valley areas, and the red flag weather means it's going to be hot and dry.

Some residents decided to get an early start to their daily walk.

"We enjoy the warm weather. It's nice that the breezes aren't so strong today. It's very dangerous in this neighborhood when the wind gets up," said John Burmahln, a Santa Clarita resident.

In some parts of the San Fernando Valley, the wind will be much stronger, and the humidity will be much lower.

In the Sesnon Fire area of Porter Ranch, the winds bring back some of the concern of the high fire danger after thousands of acres burned last week.

"We're certainly still worried. (The fire) got within a half mile of my house, so I was pretty worried," said Jace Nuzback, a Porter Ranch resident.

As the mercury rose in Woodland Hills on Thursday, Red Flag conditions showed no sign of letting up.

"I've never seen this kind of weather here this time of year. The water is still warm. The air is incredibly warm every single day and very dry," said Trevor Benson, who was tired of the hot weather. "I don't know. I don't live in the Valley, but I'd hate to be out here every day."

"It's very hot. I know that. I know it's so incredible. I have a million bottles in my car ... the water because it's incredible here," said Blanca DeGolado, who was also tired of the weather.

Dry air fueled an early morning brush fire in the Sepulveda Pass. Flames raced up the hillsides. Brush that hadn't burned in decades flared up and residents on the ridgeline above feared the worst.

"I was just very scared ... scared of what's going to happen. Because if it's going to jump to Sepulveda ... my house is just up the street over here. So, I'm concerned about what's going to happen," said Hamid Shoohed, an area resident.

The fire fight forced a shutdown of the 405 Freeway, in both directions, for hours creating a mess of the morning commute.

Authorities are warning Southern California residents to be extra vigilant while these Red Flag conditions persist.

"I've had enough. It's time for some cool weather. And, it's affected my daughter's school was up on Sepulveda where the fire broke out today. And, they called at 3:30 this morning to cancel school. So, they couldn't get to school. Yeah it's crazy, it's enough. We need some cold weather. We need some rain," said Lisa Ribakoff, who lives near Thursday's fire.

Firefighters will be out on patrol and urge residents to be proactive and report anything that looks suspicious.

Eyewitness News Reporters Sid Garcia and Leslie Sykes contributed to this report.


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