Santa Ana winds on Thanksgiving cause wildfire concern for Southern California residents

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Gusty conditions throughout the West have put Southern California on high alert, prompting the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue red flag warnings.

Low humidity and forceful Santa Ana winds between 40 mph and 65 mph have forced power companies to warn residents about potential power shutoffs amid an increased wildfire risk


The Thanksgiving wind event is expected to be cold and those impacted will see temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s.

Wind gusts from the north to the northeast are expected in the mountains at speeds ranging from 40 mph to 50 mph, while the coastal and valley areas will see 30 mph to 45 mph gusts, according to the NWS.

The Interstate 5 corridor in the Santa Clarita Valley is expected to experience the strongest winds, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles

Communities recently affected by San Bernardino’s El Dorado Fire are also on standby.

“The Fire Weather Watch for most of LA and Ventura Counties has been upgraded to a Red Flag Warning effective Thu afternoon and most of Friday,” the agency tweeted Wednesday. “Be careful with anything that could start a fire and remember Ready! Set! Go!”

According to KTLA, the Southern California Edison power company was considering cutting power to more than 87,000 customers in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties.

Los Angeles National Weather Service officials are calling on residents to be vigilant and take caution when near any fire sources. 

“Those living in wildland interfaces and areas vulnerable to wildfire should have a plan and be ready to evacuate if a fire starts,” they said.

Weather forecasters said residents can expect to see felled trees and power lines throughout the region, and that the winds are expected to weaken over the weekend.

California experienced its worst wildfire season in modern history this year, with scorching temperatures and horrific air quality turning the sky a dystopian shade of burnt orange

In the past, the Southern California fire season ran from May or June through November, according to Cal Fire. 


While the worst blazes still happen in the summer months, fall flames are fanned by warm and dry winds like the Santa Ana winds. 

Wildfires have killed 31 people this year and burned thousands of miles.

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