High winds increase fire danger in Southern California
By John Bender
Southern California residents are being warned of extreme fire danger as Santa Ana winds kick up and the humidity decreases through Tuesday.
The Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index lists a “high” rating for the Los Angeles and Ventura areas for Monday, Oct. 9, meaning that fires will grow very rapidly and be very difficult to control.
On Monday morning, Oct. 9, winds were pushing a brush fire in Anaheim Hills that spurred evacuations of homes, burned some and sent a plume of smoke visible across the region.
The threat index lists a “moderate” rating for Orange County and the Inland Empire, meaning fires will grow rapidly and be difficult to control.
Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning through 10 a.m. Tuesday for inland Orange County, the San Gorgonio Pass, the Riverside County valleys, coastal mountain slopes and foothills and the San Diego County valleys.
“Very low relative humidity, coupled with the strong and gusty winds, will pose a critical fire weather threat,” the weather service wrote.
A wind advisory was issued for Monday through 6 p.m. The winds, up to 35 mph, were expected to make driving difficult, especially for motorists with high-profile vehicles. Motorists are urged to watch for broken tree limbs and other debris. Blowing dust could reduce visibility.
The high temperature in the Inland valleys on Monday was expected to be 85 degrees, warming to a high of 90 on Tuesday before decreasing to 83 on Wednesday and 78 on Thursday.