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Red flag warning issued in SCV

Local firefighters knock down brush fire in river wash

Posted: May 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.

High winds and low humidity whipped up a brush fire at a homeless encampment Sunday afternoon, prompting firefighters to get a quick jump on it, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, firefighters were dispatched to an area inside the Santa Clara River wash near Via Princessa and Weyerhauser Way, near the Via Princessa Metrolink Station.

“It was for a fire in the wash there,” said Inspector Bernard Peters.

Firefighters from Fire Station No. 107 in Canyon Country extinguished the fire within one hour of getting to it, said the station’s captain, Chad Hunter.

“It was a homeless encampment that was on fire,” he said. “It was a potential problem for us with the high winds and low humidity.”

A Red Flag warning issued by the county Fire Department remains in effect for the Santa Clarita Valley until 8 p.m. today, said Inspector Michael Pittman.

“It’s the wind and the heat that becomes the concern,” he said. “The Red Flag warningis mainly for the Malibu area and the high desert area.”

When it was suggested that Santa Clarita Valley is in the middle of the two, Pittman said: “Precisely so.”

Red Flag warnings are issued by the Fire Department to identify time periods when conditions are ideal for wildfires: gusty winds, low relative humidity and low fuel moisture levels, according the Fire Department.

According to fire officials, during Red Flag warnings it is especially important to report any signs of smoke immediately to emergency responders and minimize any use of open flame in outdoor settings.
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