Authorities issue extreme red flag warning in California

  30 October 2019    Read: 853
  Authorities issue extreme red flag warning in California

An "extreme red flag warning" has been issued in southern California, marking the first such alert of its kind, AzVision.az reports citing BBC News. 

The warning, issued by the Los Angeles weather service, covers Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.

The winds are expected to reach 80mph (128kmph) and there is concern they will help the fire, which has already burned through 658 acres, spread.

Some 1,100 firefighters are tackling the fire and over 10,000 structures are at risk, authorities say.

At least eight homes have been destroyed by the Getty fire and five others damaged. About 5% of the fire is contained so far, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Winds are expected to pick up late on Tuesday with forecasters warning that the winds could hit their worst levels of the season.

"This Santa Ana wind event will likely be the strongest we have seen so far this season," the weather service said.

"These strong winds combined with a long duration of single-digit humidities and dry fuels will likely bring very critical fire weather conditions, making this an extreme red flag warning event."

Fire chief Ralph M. Terrazas told the New York Times that his goal for Tuesday was to increase containment ahead of the evening's strong winds. He added he was very concerned by the threats the winds posed.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the more than 7,000 residents evacuated so far should not plan on returning home until conditions are safe.

Basketball star LeBron James and actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger are among those who have evacuated their homes.

On Tuesday, James sent a taco truck to feed a number of firefighters tackling the Getty Fire.

The Getty Centre, which houses a large art collection, is also at risk of the fire.

The museum said in a tweet that the art is "protected by a state-of-the-art technology" and that the safest place for it is inside.

The cause of the Getty Fire is not yet known however an investigation has been launched.

A number of wildfires have broken out in the state over the last week. The Kincade Fire in northern California has burned through more than 74,000 acres.

Thousands of people have been left without power as companies shut-off electricity to prevent a further outbreak of fires. Currently, about 15% of the fire is contained.


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