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Red-flag warning puts firefighters on alert in Southern California

August 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Firefighters are on high alert due to a red-flag warning issued for Los Angeles and Ventura counties on Wednesday.

The red-flag warning stays in effect until 5 p.m. for the mountains and valleys. An additional strike team and other fire personal are on hand in Santa Clarita, ready to move if something were to ignite.

"We've staffed additional manpower on fire engines, and we've staffed our patrols, which are smaller vehicles to get into narrow areas," said L.A. County Fire Capt. Tony Clift.

Officials say there's a chance of dry lightning. Along with windy conditions, if a fire were to start, it could get serious fast. Fire crews say because there hasn't been a recent major fire in the area, so there is plenty of brush to burn through.

Authorities urged residents to be prepared for emergencies by staying alert to their surroundings. They suggest getting emergency supplies, getaway kits and evacuation plans for all family members and pets.

In Pasadena, parking restrictions had been enforced to ensure fire engines have access in case of a brush fire, but those restrictions were lifted when the National Weather Service canceled the red-flag warning for Pasadena.