Blistery Santa Ana Winds Create Extra Wildfire Hazard Monday – CBS Los Angeles
SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) Almost all of the Los Angeles and Ventura counties have been red flagged to start the week because of a wind incident in Santa Ana that will create dangerous forest fire conditions.
The red flag warning went into effect on Monday at 4 a.m. and will stay in place until Tuesday at 10 p.m. Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible.
The windy conditions, the low humidity and the dry conditions create a critical forest fire hazard.
“The Santa Ana winds are expected to reach their strength and coverage from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning, when gusts of 40 to 55 miles per hour are likely for the lean coastal and valley areas of Counties LA and Ventura, while gusts of 55 to 70 miles will be damaged. Miles per hour will be possible for the mountains, ”the National Weather Service wrote in a statement.
This is the third such wind event in Santa Ana in the past three weeks. The winds could cut trees and power lines, forcing Edison in Southern California to potentially re-run precautionary public safety shutdowns. On Thanksgiving Day and again last week, SCE disconnected thousands of people from the electricity grid.
As of Monday morning, 193,137 SCE customers across Southland are at risk of their electricity being switched off. That includes over 45,000 customers in LA County and another 36,000 in San Bernardino County. Click here to see if your address is in the restricted area.
“Hopefully the power won’t go out because I’m doing an online school and if the power goes out I can’t really do my school work,” said Justin Millsap, who lives in Fontana.
The preventive power outages are designed to ensure that fires are not caused by branches and other foreign objects blowing into power lines.
“Sometimes we go days without electricity,” said Sandra Maldonado, a resident of Fontana. “So, it’s very frustrating.”
On the night of December 2, the Santa Ana winds helped spread a devastating fire that broke out in the Silverado Canyon area east of Irvine. The 7,300-acre Bond Fire, which started as a house fire before spreading to the nearby Brush, destroyed at least 28 buildings. It also forced thousands of people to flee.
As of Sunday, it was 55% included. All evacuation orders were lifted.
From August to October, California saw multiple heat waves that triggered rolling power outages for the first time since 2001 and contributed to the spread of a historic number of forest fires across the state, destroying thousands of homes and forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate.
SCE told California state regulators that its equipment may have been responsible for starting the Silverado Fire, which broke out east of Irvine in late October, burning 13,400 acres and forcing more than 90,000 to evacuate their homes.
Also in October, Ventura County fire investigators reported that the Easy and Maria fires that broke out in October 2019 were both caused by electrical equipment failures. In the Easy Fire, the SCE equipment was to blame, officials said.
In November 2019, while the Easy and Maria fires were still burning, SCE reached a $ 360 million settlement admitting its equipment was also responsible for starting the 2017 Thomas Fire and 2018 Woolsey Fire .