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The Winds Are Coming — Red Flag Warnings Are In Place

The sun is seen behind smoke from the Bobcat fire rising above in the Angeles National Forest on Monday. (Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images)
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A red flag warning is in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday in the mountains and valleys of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

The warning comes as Santa Ana winds roar in.

Weather forecasters warn that gusts up to 55 mph could fuel the out-of-control Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest.

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Eric Boldt, a warning coordination meteorologist with National Weather Service office in Oxnard, cautioned on our newsroom's call-in show AirTalk this morning that the "the fire is still very active up in the mountains and those winds are expected to kick up shortly after lunch time."

Flames could push further south towards communities like Monrovia, Azusa, and Sierra Madre.

"So wind speeds of gusting 50 to 60 mph possible in the mountains," Boldt explained. "And that's really gonna make for a rapid fire spread towards those communities later today."

Meterologist Mark Jackson with the National Weather Service says the newest forecasts are sent to fire officials:

"We stay in close coordination through conference calls, through direct phone calls to operations chiefs to give them more specific details on how this event will unfold - especially in terms of the timing and the strength and the location."

Winds are expected to ramp up tonight and into tomorrow morning. The Antelope Valley also could experience isolated gusts of 60 miles per hour.
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These gusts, mixed with dry conditions and hot temperatures, could force electrical utilities to shut off power to keep equipment from starting fires.

More than 54,000 Southern California Edison customers could be impacted and officials with the power company are asking for customers help.

"When customers get a text on their cell phone or a phone call, please take it seriously,"said spokesman Reggie Kumar. "Make sure to have an emergency plan in place and go somewhere safe if their power is shut off."

These potential shut-offs are different from the rolling blackouts issued due to power demands during the heatwave.


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