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Red Flag Warning Extended To Saturday Night As Crews Battle Saddle Ridge Fire


LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A red flag warning has been extended into Saturday night for most of the Southland as a wildfire rages in in the San Fernando Valley foothill communities of Porter Ranch and Sylmar and Santa Ana winds continue to batter the region.

The red flag warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday for the Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Los Angeles County mountains, Angeles National Forest, the Los Angeles coastal area stretching to downtown and most of Ventura County is also covered by the warning.

Saddleridge Fire
A helicopter drops water to help fight flames on the Saddleridge Fire in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles, California, on Oct. 11, 2019. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The red flag warning, which initially took effect at 8 a.m. Thursday, had originally been expected to expire at 6 p.m. Friday.

"Another surge of gusty Santa Ana winds is occurring this morning, with gusts between 35 and 50 mph across wind-prone coastal and valley areas of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, and 50 to 60 mph across the mountains," according to the National Weather Service. "These gusty winds combined with widespread single-digit humidities -- as low as 1 percent -- and warmer temperatures will continue to bring very dangerous fire weather conditions today (Friday)."

Forecasters noted that the Santa Ana winds that began battering the region Thursday will begin diminishing Friday afternoon. By Saturday morning, wind gusts are expected to drop to between 20 and 30 mph in the mountains and valleys, then shift to an onshore direction by Saturday afternoon.

The Saddle Ridge Fire, which broke out before 9 p.m. Thursday near the 210 Freeway at the Yarnell Street exit in Sylmar, has burned 4,700 acres in the San Fernando Valley, destroyed at least 25 homes and forced more than 100,000 people to evacuate.

In Los Angeles County, Southern California Edison cut power to 4,557 customers in the areas of Palmdale, Agua Dulce, Acton, Boiling Point, White Heather, Fern Ann Falls, Twin Lakes, Deer Lake Highlands, Chatsworth Lake Manor and Santa Susana Knolls.

According to Edison, more than 223,000 customers across its service area are under consideration for precautionary power cuts.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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