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Fire danger from strong winds is so strong, you may have received an alert on your phone

By in Press Enterprise on December 7, 2017

By Staff report

Smartphone users in seven Southern California counties received an emergency alert around 8:25 p.m. Wednesday advising them of extreme fire danger late Wednesday and early Thursday because of forecast high winds.

“Strong winds overnight creating extreme fire danger. Stay alert. Listen to authorities,” says the alert, issued by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

It was sent to cell phones in San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Orange, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, where red flag warnings have been issued.

The OES said residents should stay ready, monitor local news and listen to local authorities.

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The alert came as the National Weather Service forecast an extreme Santa Ana wind event beginning Wednesday night, with 18 to 24 hours of strong winds gusting 50-80 mph. The predicted winds, coupled with very dry conditions, mean that any fires that start will likely grow rapidly, the OES said.

Winds and dry humidity already have led to multiple fires in Southern California including the 90,000-acre Thomas fire in Ventura County.

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