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Firefighters Prepare For ‘Extreme’ Santa Ana Winds Across Los Angeles County

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Brush Fire

Firefighters are preparing for “extreme” Santa Ana winds across Los Angeles County starting Monday evening, which increases the risk of wildfires.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department has implemented its augmented staffing plan in response to a red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service (NWS), according to the department.

The red flag warning is in effect from late Monday night through Tuesday at 10 p.m., according to the NWS.

A high wind warning is also in effect beginning early Tuesday morning through Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 4 a.m., according to the weather service.

Widespread portions of Los Angeles County are affected, including the areas of Santa Clarita, the high country, Los Angeles basin and the Santa Monica Mountains, extending to the coast and Catalina Island, according to the fire department.

In some areas, this strong and dangerous Santa Ana wind event may develop extreme wind gusts between 50 to 70 miles per hour, with isolated, stronger gusts up to 90 miles per hour in the mountains.

Warm temperatures and low humidity are expected in canyon, mountain and valley areas, according to the NWS.

This extreme wind event has resulted in an elevated high fire danger, prompting Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby to order additional staffing and pre-deployment of resources throughout the county.

“At this time, we remind residents living in wildfire prone areas to take appropriate precautions,” fire officials said in a statement.

Residents are encouraged to report any sign of smoke or fire immediately to your local fire department by dialing 9-1-1, with fire officials urging those calling from a cell phone to know their location for a faster response.

During elevated weather conditions, utility companies may temporarily shut off power in high-risk areas with a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

Due to the red flag warning, about 1,600 Southern California Edison customers lost power, with over 60,000 being monitored.

“During these events, we will proactively turn off power in high fire risk areas to reduce the threat of wildfires,” said SCE officials. “Turning off our customers’ power is not something we take lightly, but PSPS events are one of the ways we can better ensure the safety of the public, our customers and our employees.”

For more information on how to be prepared for wildfires, visit here.

Crash

Vehicle Crashes Over Side Of 5 Freeway In Newhall Pass

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CHP Vehicle California Highway Patrol (1)

A vehicle crashed about 30 feet over the side of the 5 Freeway onto The Old Road in the Newhall Pass Monday morning.

The crash was reported at about 10:50 a.m. Monday near The Old Road and Weldon Canyon Road in Newhall, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Initial reports to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) indicated the vehicle landed on its roof after crashing down a hillside, according to CHP logs.

Two paramedic squads and ambulances were requested to the scene, according to fire officials.

The Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue team responded to the incident but were later canceled.

A total of two victims from one vehicle were transported to a local hospital in unknown condition, according to the department.

This is a breaking news story, more information will be added as it becomes available.

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Snow Flurries In Santa Clarita Valley Possible After Next Storm System Arrives

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5 Freeway Grapevine Snow (1)
Photo Courtesy of the CHP Fort Tejon Area Office

Snow flurries in parts of the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys are possible as another storm is predicted to hit the Southland.

National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists are reporting a “brief lull” between storms Sunday morning with another system moving into Southern California in the afternoon. 

Snow accumulations across the Antelope Valley foothills could be between one to three inches near Highway 138 from Llano to Little Rock and Highway 138 west of the 14 Freeway towards Neenach to near Gorman.

The Santa Clarita Valley could see a dusting as well, according to the NWS.

Forecasters “would not be surprised” if portions of Santa Clarita Valley saw some snow flurries, especially around the foothills on Monday, according to the NWS.

Snow levels are expected to lower to 2000 feet and possibly down to 1500 feet, according to the weather service.

High winds are expected to affect portions of the Antelope Valley, a high wind watch is in effect Monday morning through the evening with gusts possibly exceeding 60 mph. 

The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a cold weather alert due to wind chill temperatures expected to be below freezing.

The weather alert is in effect for the Santa Clarita Valley from Monday, Jan.25 through Tuesday, Jan. 26, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

In the Antelope Valley, the alert is in effect from Sunday through Thursday, Jan. 28.

“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer in a statement. “There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities. We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Due to the predicted snow, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Fort Tejon Area Office has implemented “Operation Snowflake” to prepare for a possible shut down of the 5 Freeway in the Grapevine. 

As of 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the I-5 remains open, with CHP officers monitoring road conditions. 

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Crash

Jackknifed Big Rig Prompts SigAlert Near Newhall Pass

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5 Freeway Crash SigAlert
Photo Courtesy of Oscar Sol

A jackknifed big rig is leaking fuel Saturday afternoon, prompting a SigAlert in Sylmar near the Newhall Pass.

The crash was first reported at about 12:05 p.m. Saturday at the northbound 5 Freeway truck route near north of the 210 Freeway, according to Brian Humphrey, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).

Upon arrival, firefighters reported a multi-vehicle collision in the truck lanes, involving a jackknifed big rig leaking diesel fuel from a punctured 100-gallon tractor tank, according to Humphrey.

LAFD personnel have stopped the leak and are working to contain the spill as of 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has issued a SigAlert for the truck route transition from the westbound 210 Freeway to the northbound I-5, according to CHP logs.

All lanes of the transition are estimated to be closed for about one hour, according to the CHP.

Initial reports to the CHP indicated the collision involved three big rigs, including a tomato truck and a Freightliner.

No injuries have been reported in connection to the incident.

Photo Courtesy of Oscar Sol

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