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Red flag warning extends to Sunday night

October 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fire crews are ready for possible brushfires during another red flag warning weekend.Extra firefighting staff has been brought in for areas prone to fire danger, like Santa Clarita.

"The L.A. County Fire Department has not dropped its guard at all," said Inspector Paul Hartwell from the L.A. County Fire Department.

Firefighters had a lot to deal with on Thursday, with wildfires popping up all around the Southland, and officials are warning that the dangers are far from over, and neither are the Santa Ana winds.

A wildfire broke out along the Sepulveda Pass around 1 a.m. Thursday and immediately threatened homes near the Getty Center. Fire crews were able to hit the blaze hard, knocking it out before any structures were damaged, but not before creating a mess of the morning commute. The fire fight had forced a complete shutdown of the 405 Freeway for several hours.

At the base of Mount Baldy, another wildfire broke out in Upland around 2 p.m. Thursday. That wildfire did not damage any structures either. A small brushfire also broke out in Ventura County on Thursday afternoon.

Because of the Santa Ana winds, officials are urging residents to be mindful of proper brush clearance.

"We still have lots of brush left and lots of time for the Santa Ana winds to be blowing. Brush clearance is hugely important if you live in an area where you have trees, brush, and you're in that type of area," said LAFD Capt. Tina Harrow.

Officials advise residents to have everything you need ready, just in case of a fire evacuation.

"During the weekend, maybe back your car in, not face your car in, have a list of what you want to take, your valuables, and be ready to leave within 10, 15 minutes," Hartwell said.

Hartwell advises residents to keep a check list so that when it's time to go, you can just pack up and leave.

"Follow the sheriff or the police department's orders. Listen to the evacuation orders," he said.

Officials also urge residents in fire danger areas to avoid charcoal barbeques this weekend, using power tools or any kind of machinery that could ignite a spark because all it takes is a little spark to cause a huge problem.


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