Extreme Santa Ana winds prompting red-flag fire warning for SoCal

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Santa Ana winds are returning to the Southland beginning today, prompting a warning for extreme fire danger that goes into effect tonight.
  The National Weather Service has issued a red-flag warning for most valleys and mountains of Los Angeles County and inland Orange County from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Friday, and to 10 p.m. Saturday in the Santa Clarita Valley and Santa Monica Mountains.
  Low humidity combined with the strong winds will increase the risk of wildfires despite moderate temperature in the 60s and 70s, the agency said.
  A wind advisory is in effect until noon Wednesday in central Los Angeles, and until midnight in the valleys. Gusts of 45 mph are expected in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and up to 50 mph in the mountains.
  "Gusty north to northeast winds for the next several nights and mornings will turn primarily northeasterly for the latter half of the week. Damaging Santa Ana winds are possible across the mountains between Thursday and Friday," the NWS said on Tuesday.
  The wind event will again raise the possibility of power outages. Southern California Edison warned Tuesday that some customers could be subject to Public Safety Power Shutoffs, in which electricity is cut in particularly wind-affected areas to prevent equipment damage that could spark fires.
  "We understand that having your power turned off is a hardship, especially in the middle of a pandemic and when most folks are at home. We are working to limit the number of customers who are shutoff due to Public Safety Power Shutoffs," Vik Trehan, SCE director and incident commander, said in a statement. "We know this is especially difficult for customers who lost power due to PSPS over the Thanksgiving holiday and who live in areas with high winds and increased wildfire threats. These PSPS are initiated to reduce the risk of wildfires and to protect communities from wildfire danger."
  Residents can get more information about the shutoffs, and determine if they are in an area being considered for power cuts, by visiting www.sce.com/psps. As of Wednesday morning, the utility listed 34,088 customers in Los Angeles as being under consideration for possible shutoffs, along with 16,425 in Orange County.