Even as a red flag warning that the National Weather Service issued for Los Angeles and Ventura counties expired at 10 a.m. Friday, Southern California firefighters remained on high alert due to the dry conditions and lingering wind gusts.
The warning was originally set to expire at 6 p.m. Thursday, but the NWS extended it until Friday morning.
The extension came after a wind-driven brush fire burned about 10 acres in Simi Valley early Thursday. More than 300 firefighters battled the Lilac Fire, which was declared fully contained by 6 p.m., authorities said.
Nonetheless, fire officials on Friday said they were continuing to take precautions because of the weather conditions.
“We have extra staffing today, which we’re staffing our engines with extra firefighters, and patrols are staffed. We have an extra battalion chief, and our water tenders are also staffed,” L.A. County Fire Capt. Arlin Kahan said.
Moderate Santa Ana winds were expected to continue across many parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, but they would gradually diminish Friday morning, according to the NWS.
Wind gusts between 35 and 45 mph were slated to be common across the mountains through the evening hours, with gusts ranging from 25 to 35 mph in coastal and valley areas, forecasters said.