Statewide officials preparing for increased fire danger.
A red flag warning has been issued through Thursday for areas including Santa Clarita. A high pressure system will be steadily forcing temperatures up as the week rolls on, and offshore influences will likely lead to stronger winds and single-digit humidity.
Winds are forecast to occur late Monday night into Tuesday morning and again Tuesday night into Wednesday morning with gusts up to 35 miles per hour (mph) in the passes and canyons and local gusts up to 45 mph.
Those three factors; heat, wind and low humidity, compose the worst scenario for wildfires. The Red Flag warning reflects this danger, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has mobilized emergency responders accordingly, directing the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to prepare for increased wildfire potential.
“California must be ready for any fires or heat-related illnesses that may occur as hot and dry conditions continue throughout the state,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I’ve directed our state’s first responders to prepare for any situation that may arise and ensure that our resources are prepositioned and ready to respond quickly. We must do everything we can to protect the safety of all Californians and California’s workers during this extreme heat.”
On September 18, CAL FIRE increased staffing across the state and has pre-positioned additional equipment to areas of the state where fire danger is heightened due to the weather pattern.
So far, CAL FIRE has:
Fully staffed CAL FIRE inmate fire crews.
Fully staffed CAL FIRE bulldozers.
Fully staffed CAL FIRE reserve fire engines.
Increased staffing in all Emergency Command Centers.
Arranged for air tankers to be made available earlier in the day as needed.
Staffed a Mobile Communication Center and Mobile Kitchen Unit.
Staffed fire lookouts in northern California as determined by the local unit chief.
Staffed additional fire engines, bulldozers and fire crews in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Kern and Marin counties.
Funded a fourth firefighter on all state funded engines in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.
Additionally, the Governor has directed Cal/OSHA to carry out the largest heat enforcement effort in its history. Investigators will comb the areas throughout California, ensuring compliance to the state’s heat illness prevention regulations.