Windy, hot conditions in store for weekend; fire crews on alert
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Prepare for winds and temperatures to spike in Southern California this weekend. Forecasters and firefighters are both paying close attention to conditions.
High wind warnings are in effect for most of Southern California on Friday, and a red flag warning will be in effect in the region for most of the weekend. The high desert and San Gabriel Valley are only seeing wind advisories.
The Santa Ana winds are expected to pick up to 60 mph. Southern California Edison is asking people to be prepared if power lines blow over.
The conditions are creating a fire danger. But fire crews, including federal fire crews, say they are ready. They are the same workers who are affected by the government shutdown.
Even amid the government shutdown, officials ensure that the U.S. Forest Service will be fully staffed. However, firefighters will be working without pay.
Authorities are asking people to be vigilant and report any smoke or fire.
A couple of fires were reported across the Southland on Friday. A brush fire erupted at Grand Avenue and La Puente Road in Walnut. It was knocked down at 1 acre.
A fire tore through a mobile home park in Oxnard, destroying several homes. Firefighters were able to put out the flames and residents escaped safely.
A 10-acre brush fire also broke out just before 5 p.m. in the community of Good Hope. It did not pose an immediate threat to homes in the area. The blaze was reported near Christmas Tree Lane and Santa Rosa Mine Road, just north of Lake Elsinore.
Winds began whipping up in Fontana early in the morning, specifically between Summit and Sierra avenues off the I-15. The California Highway Patrol is warning drivers to beware of treacherous conditions.
"It's horrible, it's real horrible," said driver Mike Barraza. "A lot of pushing into other lanes, and it's tough, especially when you're in a work van."
The winds are also a concern for big-rig drivers, but there were no wind-related incidents reported early in the morning.
Meantime in the Santa Clarita Valley, a howling wind brought dusty conditions to the area. Resident Pat Armacher said the wind was so bad overnight that she could not sleep.
"I had to get up several times to close windows," she said. "Things were flying around, my neighbors' lawn chairs were coming into my yard."
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. In the event of a fire, trucks need room to manuever on narrow streets.
Fire officials say if a big 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.
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