Powerful Santa Ana winds expected as red flag warning issued for SoCal

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Southern California can expect to see powerful Santa Ana winds on Monday and over the next several days, leading to serious concerns about fire danger.

Wind gusts are expected to hit hard in the afternoon at 40 to 50 mph. Some isolated mountain areas could hit as high as 80 mph, leading to the possibility of fallen power lines and tree limbs.

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Even without a heat warning, the winds are expected to be so strong, state fire officials are relocating 10 fire units from Northern California to the Los Angeles area in case of fire danger.

"It could take off right away. If you get wind behind it, it's going to push it. It'll carry the fire for miles," said Capt. Phillip Viramontes of the L.A. County Fire Department. "We can get a lot of acreage out of a simple brush fire."

The winds are expected to first hit in the I-5 corridor near the Grapevine, with the Santa Anas potentially at their strongest this season, according to the National Weather Service.

The red flag warning for Southern California is expected to last from Sunday night through midnight Friday. High-wind warnings will be in place from early Monday morning to Thursday 4 p.m.

Porter Ranch was already experiencing strong wind gusts by 6 a.m., along with cold temperatures.

Fire crews were quick to respond to a small brush fire in Browns Canyon, just north of the 118 Freeway, shortly after 8 a.m. Several helicopters were in the air and making water drops within minutes of the flames breaking out.

No damage or injuries were reported in the fire, which was quickly knocked down.
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