Firefighters Prepare for First Santa Ana Wind Event of Wildfire Season

Low humidity, gusts up to 40 mph expected

By Sam Catanzaro

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts the first Santa Ana wind event of the 2019/2020 wildfire season will start late night Monday, September 23, lasting into the morning of Wednesday, September 25, with strongest winds expected on Tuesday.

During this first Santa Ana wind event, NWS expects the area could potentially experience elevated, brief critical fire weather conditions, with the potential for large fire growth with extreme fire behavior.

Projected Wind Speeds:

L.A. and Ventura Counties mountain areas: north-northeast 15-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph

L.A. and Ventura Counties valleys: north-northeast 10-25 mph with gusts to 35 mph

L.A. and Ventura Counties coastal areas:  north-northeast 10-20 mph

Minimum Humidities: 8-15% Tuesday, and 12-25% Wednesday

Max Temperatures: 90-102 degrees Tuesday, and 87-99 degrees Wednesday

Currently, fuel moisture levels in the Santa Monica Mountains are higher than average for this time of year, which reduces the risk of wildfire, according to the L.A. County Fire Department, which regularly monitors fuel moisture levels. The NWS said that there is still some uncertainty whether offshore winds will reach coastal areas of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

“This time of year has produced some of the largest, most destructive and deadliest fires on record,” said Lucas Spelman of CAL FIRE.

The City of Malibu, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and the L.A. County Fire Department (County Fire) are closely monitoring fire conditions, and the Fire Department is deploying additional resources in the Malibu area. Malibu and LA will send out emergency and weather alerts and post announcements on social media and the website as conditions warrant. 

Residents are advised to monitor the weather on local news such as KNX AM 1070 and KBUU FM 99.1, as well as the National Weather Service at www.Weather.gov/LOX. Residents should also review their family emergency and evacuation plans, check their “go bags” and emergency supplies to ensure food, water, medication and batteries have not expired, and read the L.A. County Fire Department’s “Ready, Set, GO!” guide at www.Fire.LACounty.gov/RSG.

in Fire, News
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