Fire warning issued as Santa Ana winds pick up

A Canadair CL-415 "Super Scooper" flies in to take on water from a reservoir to be dumped on a too-close wildfire. Los Angeles fire officials extended a contract with two of these planes due to growing Santa Ana winds.
A Canadair CL-415 "Super Scooper" flies in to take on water from a reservoir to be dumped on a too-close wildfire. Los Angeles fire officials extended a contract with two of these planes due to growing Santa Ana winds. NoIdentity/Flickr/Creative Commons

The National Weather Service is warning about strong Santa Ana winds in L.A. and Ventura counties starting Wednesday night. The humidity also will drop, so meteorologists have issued a red flag warning, a signal that the weather conditions could help a wildfire spread out of control.

L.A. County Fire Captain Mark Savage says firefighters are monitoring the situation.

"All firefighters [are] on notice in Southern California because this certainly will be the strongest predicted wind event in recent times. They're saying that these could be very destructive winds and could be a very dangerous component if a brush fire were to start. Makes it very difficult to stop," Savage said.

The National Weather Service in San Diego released a brief detailing winds that could exceed 60 mph, with coldest gusts hitting Thursday.

The department has extended its contract for a pair of "Super Scoopers," the firefighting aircraft that can drop 14,000 gallons of water at a time. Those planes were supposed to head back to Canada on Tuesday, but the department added a week to the contract after hearing about the weather forecast.

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