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Rising temperatures, high winds pose fire danger across Southland

October 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
High winds and rising temperatures are in the forecast for Southern California, posing a threat of wildfires. Firefighters across the Southland say they're bracing for the worst fire conditions in five years.

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A red flag warning went into effect across most areas Thursday evening with wind gusts kicking up to 60 mph in some areas.

Cal Fire is remaining vigilant and preparing for several days of extreme heat. They've added more staff and equipment at all of their stations. Authorities say gusts between 55 and 65 mph are expected across all counties in the Southland through Sunday.

A high wind watch went into effect at 11 p.m. Thursday and is set to last until Saturday afternoon for large swaths of the Southland, including Los Angeles County, the San Gabriel Valley, the Antelope Valley, the Santa Monica Mountain Range and the Hollywood Hills. Approximately 150 L.A. City firefighters were placed on high alert beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Temperatures are expected to climb to the 80s and 90s across the Southland on Friday. Fire officials are warning residents to be cautious during these dangerous conditions.

The Pasadena Fire Department is already patrolling foothill communities where fire danger is dangerously high during the red flag warning. They have mobilized forces to keep a close eye on canyon areas for the next several days.

A small brush fire broke out Wednesday near Grand Avenue in Glendora. It charred about 5 acres and it took approximately 100 firefighters two hours to knock the blaze down.

Residents living in fire-prone areas will be receiving automated calls, warning them about the fire dangers and also telling them to move their cars off the streets. Parking restrictions have gone into effect. In the event of a fire, trucks need room to manuever on narrow streets.

Fire officials say if a fire does break out, the conditions over the next few days could create a catastrophic situation, which is why they're telling people to get "ready, set and go" when asked.

Los Angeles City Fire Assistant Chief Kwame Cooper explained the three steps:

  • Ready: Pack up your valuables.
  • Set: Make sure everything is ready to go in your car, and your car is facing out.
  • Go: The public is urged to comply with firefighters' directions to leave under evacuation orders.

Even amid the government shutdown, officials ensure that the U.S. Forest Service will be fully staffed. However, firefighters will be working without pay.

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