High Winds, Dry Brush Trigger Red Flag Fire Warning - NBC Southern California

High Winds, Dry Brush Trigger Red Flag Fire Warning

Dry Santa Ana winds prompt firefighters across the region to add extra staff



    Low moisture and strong wind gusts have fire officials on high alert in the Inland Empire. Tony Shin reports NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Fontana Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014)

    Southern California firefighters are beefing up staffing as Santa Ana winds kick up and red flag fire warnings are in effect.

    The red flag warning denotes an elevated wildfire danger, brought on by windy weather and low humidity.

    With dry fuels exacerbated by the state's continuing drought, the fire danger will likely be extreme, firefighters said.

    The red flag warning will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday for the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Los Angeles County mountains, Angeles National Forest and the Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys.

    It will also affect the Los Angeles County coastal zone, which includes beachside cities, L.A.'s Westside, metropolitan Los Angeles, downtown, and the Hollywood Hills.

    The red flag warning will also cover Orange County coastal areas, the Santa Ana Mountains and portions of the Cleveland National Forest.

    A wind advisory will be in force until 10 p.m. Tuesday in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains. Forecasters warned that the wind would pack enough punch to knock down trees and power lines.

    A high wind warning will take effect at 10 p.m. in many areas and continue until 3 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters said gusts as high as 70 mph are possible on some peaks and ridges and through passes and canyons.

    Parking restrictions will be imposed in Pasadena from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to ensure emergency vehicles can access remote areas.

    Pasadena’s red flag parking restrictions will impact narrow and/or winding roads in areas that border surrounding wildlands.

    The restrictions are intended to keep small streets clear of vehicles that might otherwise prevent fire crews from maneuvering trucks to fire scenes. A complete list of streets in Pasadena with restricted parking can be found here.

    Firefighters in the Inland Empire area of Fontana, a high risk fire zone, were on high alert.

    In Riverside County, air tankers are ready to fly at the first sign of flames.

    Officials are urging homeowners to take precautions. Fire agencies have been enforcing a buffer zone around homes. Officials require that homeowners have a minimum of 100 feet of space around their home and to remove any dry fuels and vegetation.

    Firefighters are also warning hikers and people who use recreational vehicles to be extra careful.

    Fontana resident Melanie Decker said she's ready.

    "We have canned food, mom's medicines ... everything's ready," she said.

     City News Service contributed to this report.

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