Santa Ana Winds red flag warning to return for Thanksgiving

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A fire hazard sign with the iconic “Smokey the Bear”. Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control

Across the Southland, gusty winds and dry conditions are expected in Santa Ana on Thursday.

The alert went into effect Wednesday at 10 p.m. and lasts through 6 p.m. Thursday in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, Los Angeles County Mountains, Angeles National Forest, the coastal area that extends into downtown Los Angeles, and the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.

“The northeast wind will pick up shortly after sunrise on Wednesday and then peak late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning,” said the National Weather Service.

“The wind will gradually weaker until Saturday, but sometimes it will remain gusty. Peak wind gusts between 35 and 55 miles per hour are expected, with occasional gusts between 60 and 70 miles per hour. “

Strong wind warnings will be issued through 3 p.m. Thursday in the Los Angeles County Mountains, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and Santa Clarita Valley, the San Fernando Valley, and the San Gabriel Valley and coastal areas, including downtown Los Angeles.

The National Weather Service reported gusts of wind at 77 mph in Deer Creek Canyon at 1:50 a.m., 76 mph at Boney Mountain, 73 mph in Escondido Canyon, 71 mph in Malibu Hills, and 67 mph in Burbank.

Forecasters said the humidity will drop as low as 5% on Thursday afternoon, creating arid conditions that can dramatically increase the risk of dangerous forest fires.

“The combination of (of) very gusty winds and very low relative humidity over a sufficient period of time will result in red flags in most Los Angeles and Ventura boroughs, especially Wednesday through Thanksgiving,” according to the NWS.

“Although the wind will be weaker on Friday, the very low humidity combined with the occasional gusty northeast winds will make these critical conditions last until Friday afternoon.”

Orange County has a red flag for inland areas until 6:00 p.m. Friday. Forecasters said these areas could see gusts of 40 to 80 miles per hour that could occasionally reach 60 miles per hour in mountain canyons. The humidity could drop to around 5% on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management will be on high alert, officials said Wednesday.

“These high winds in Santa Ana require the readiness of our entire community, including our world-class emergency services and emergency management organizations, which are on high alert starting today,” said OEM director Kevin McGowan.

“Emergency response officials across Los Angeles County will stand ready to defend lives and property,” said McGowan. “But we also need the cooperation of our entire community in order to remain safe as a region. You can do your part by staying up to date and being ready to evacuate at any time, especially if you live in canyons, mountains or foothills. “

Local residents were asked to consider the following emergency preparedness tips:

– Keep cell phones and other devices charged with the ringtone on so you can receive and hear emergency alarms all night long. Keep working flashlights close at hand for all family members.

Prepare your family, pets, and home for an evacuation opportunity. Park your vehicle facing the street so you don’t have to reverse and in the driveway so you don’t get stuck behind an electrically operated garage door.

– Sign up for emergency notification systems. Find out which system is used by your local law enforcement agency for your neighborhood, workplace, and other places you or family members are often. Watch local news broadcasts and keep a battery powered radio handy so you can check the news if the power goes out.

For more preparation tips, visit, follow @ReadyLACounty, or call 211 to request resources and information.

As is typical with major wind events, Edison warned in Southern California that the utility could impose public safety power cuts to cut power in areas with high winds to reduce the risk of forest fires from wind-damaged electrified power lines.

Local residents can visit SCE’s website at to see if potential blackouts are being considered in their area.

Santa Ana Winds red flag warning to return for Thanksgiving was last changed: November 25, 2021 from Contributing Editor

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