Fire departments boosted staffing levels and issued parking restrictions Thursday in anticipation of dry and windy conditions that increase the risk of wildfires.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning -- indicating wildfire conditions -- effective until Friday evening. Crews fought a 2-acre fire, causing by downed power lines, Wednesday night in Eagle Rock, and the risk remains high as strong winds are forecast to return Thursday evening.
In the city of Los Angeles, red flag parking restrictions will be in effect from 8 a.m. Thursday until 8 a.m. Friday. The restrictions are intended to prevent parked cars on narrow streets from blocking emergency vehicles.
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The department also increased staffing. The deployment includes 18 additional engine companies, six brush patrols, one battalion command team, one water tender and one bulldozer strike team, said department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
There will be an extra 911 dispatcher at the department's communications center working alongside each battalion chief, and an officer specially assigned to coordinate air operations, Humphrey said.
Los Angeles County extended its contract for two firefighting SuperScooper aircraft for another week. The aircraft are leased from the government of Quebec in Canada, said Tony Bell of County Supervisor Mike Antonovich's office.
The SuperScoopers can carry up to 1,620 gallons of water and take only 12 seconds to scoop up water from a lake and inject it with a fire-resistant foam -- a combination three times as effective as water alone, Bell said.
The SuperScoopers can get airborne in as little as five minutes and fly three hours before they have to refuel.