Fire warning issued as Santa Ana winds pick up

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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.

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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