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SoCal valleys under red flag warning

September 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Temperatures are expected to soar past 100 degrees in the Southland, as a red flag warning is in effect for Los Angeles and Ventura areas through Monday.Fire departments across Southern California are preparing for potential wildfires.

Gusty northeast winds and very low relative humidity has prompted red flag warnings for the valleys and mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

In Los Angeles County, fire crews have extra helicopters, hand crews and other equipment on standby. They're ready to go if a wildfire does break out.

Fire officials started moving crews and equipment into high fire danger areas on Saturday. Authorities are particularly concerned about the foothills and valleys.

There is also a strike team on duty in the Santa Clarita area.

Temperatures in the San Fernando Valley and other valley and inland areas are expected to shoot above 100 degrees on Sunday. Gusts between 15 to 25 miles per hour are expected to hit the area as well, and that combined with low humidity and dry brush increases the risk of a devastating fire.

Firefighters said if a blaze breaks out, their goal is to attack it as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading.

"This time of year, we usually get the Santa Ana wind conditions, and so we'll pre-stage resources anticipating, hopefully not happening, but anticipating a wild land fire, and it gets the resources that much quicker to the fire," said Los Angeles County Fire Department Batt. Chief Dave Stone.

"If we can attack it and hit it with as much as we can and keep it small, there's less chance of a big fire," added Stone.

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