RED FLAG WARNING EXTENDED THROUGH SATURDAY AS FIRES SCORCH SEVERAL COUNTIES

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By Miriam Raftery

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

December 6, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – With wind gusts forecast up to 90 miles an hour in San Diego’s mountains and valleys, along with low humidity, the National Weather Service is warning of the potential for explosive wildfires.  A red flag warning has been extended to Saturday evening.

Adding to the danger, many firefighters statewide are deployed to fight major fires burning in Ventura, Los Angeles and San Bernadino Counties, so mutual aide resources could be stretched thin if major fires develop in San Diego County.

Worst is the Ventura Fire has scorched over 65,000 acres in Ventura County, burning all the way to the sea, charring hundreds of homes.  A new fire this morning has forced shutdown of the 405 freeway near the Getty Museum. Other fires continue burning out of control across Southern California, though thus far, San Diego County has dodged the bullet. But the worst of the high-wind conditions are slated to sweep into our area starting today.

Locally, Cal Fire, San Diego Fire and Rescue and San Diego Gas & Electric have beefed up staffing in preparation.

 “Meteorologists at the National Weather Service have not seen models for a Santa Ana event like this in many years,” San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy says, Times of San Diego reports. “We are being vigilant in up-staffing to protect San Diegans and their property. We ask that residents practice their evacuation plans and be prepared in case of a wildfire.”

Heavy rains last winter, after years of drought, have created dense growth in brush and grasses that have since dried out, creating fire fuel that could result in “uncontrollable” fires should a wildfire occur during extreme wind conditions, the U.S. Forest Service has warned.

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