Santa Ana Winds Put Southland Under Wildfire Warning

December 3, 2020 Updated: December 3, 2020

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Red flag warnings continued in the Southland Dec. 3, as Santa Ana winds raised the risk of wildfires and prompted warnings of power cutoffs.

The warning will continue until 10 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Los Angeles County mountains, Angeles National Forest and Santa Clarita Valley.

In Orange County, a red flag warning went into effect at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and will last until 10 p.m. Dec. 5 in inland areas including Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Fullerton and Mission Viejo, as well as the Santa Ana Mountains.

A separate red flag warning will continue until 6 p.m. Dec. 4 for the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, along with the coastal area, which extends to downtown Los Angeles.

“This is a particularly dangerous situation for the mountains due to the combination of extremely dry vegetation, strong winds, and very dry air especially Thursday morning into Thursday afternoon,” according to the weather service.

“Elevated to brief critical fire weather conditions will persist after Saturday due to offshore winds and dry air through early next week.”

Thousand of customers in Los Angeles and Orange counties had their power cut off on Dec. 2. As of early Dec. 3, the utility listed 6,537 customers without power in Los Angeles County due to public safety shutoffs, with another 30,469 under consideration for possible shutoffs. In Orange County, 2,954 customers were without power, with another 17,948 under consideration for shutoffs.

Shortly after the warnings went into effect at 6 p.m. Dec. 2, the National Weather Service reported a 60 mph wind gust at Magic Mountain Truck Trail in Santa Clarita.

Gusts were expected to reach 40 mph in the Santa Clarita Valley on Thursday, 50 mph in parts of the San Fernando Valley, and 65 mph in the mountains.

The wind event again raised the possibility of power outages. Southern California Edison warned Tuesday that some customers could be subject to Public Safety Power Shutoffs, in which electricity is cut in particularly wind- affected areas to prevent equipment damage that could spark fires.

“We understand that having your power turned off is a hardship, especially in the middle of a pandemic and when most folks are at home. We are working to limit the number of customers who are shutoff due to Public Safety Power Shutoffs,” Vik Trehan, SCE director and incident commander, said in a statement.

“We know this is especially difficult for customers who lost power due to PSPS over the Thanksgiving holiday and who live in areas with high winds and increased wildfire threats. These PSPS are initiated to reduce the risk of wildfires and to protect communities from wildfire danger.”

Residents can get more information about the shutoffs, and determine if they are in an area being considered for power cuts, by visiting www.sce.com/psps.

A wind-driven brush fire broke out late Wednesday in Silverado Canyon. The Bond Fire was sparked by a house fire and had burned 1,500 acres by 4 a.m. Thursday, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

Evacuations were ordered for residents in the Modjeska, Silverado and Williams canyon areas.

Inland Orange County is under a red-flag warning until 10 p.m. Saturday for extreme fire danger due to high winds and low relative humidity.

The winds are expected to weaken by Dec. 4 heading into the weekend.