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first_img “We haven’t had any reports – no new starts – and crews are working on the Topanga Fire and existing fires to put out hot spots,” Hurd said. “Any spark from an existing fire can travel a couple miles and start new fires.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – As fierce Santa Ana winds gust through the Los Angeles Basin, authorities Tuesday raised red flag warnings in mountain areas and upgraded the fire danger level in the Angeles National Forest to “very high,” worried that a loose spark could ignite the next conflagration. In the Angeles, a top concern of officials of the forest near the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys is the area above Castaic that could ignite, jump the freeway and burn through dry and aging woods of the Los Padres National Forest. “The forest is very dry again and anything near the foothills is a problem,” said Robert Brady, a U.S. Forest Service fire information officer at the Angeles National Forest. “We share the border with the Los Padres. Some of our fires are joined in the Los Padres. I hope people are careful.” The National Weather Service said a north-northeast wind from 32 to 36 mph gusted in the canyons of Val Verde, Saugus and the Acton areas of north Los Angeles County. Meanwhile, the combination of a wet winter and hot dry summer left area hillsides covered with brush – compounding the fire danger. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 A wind advisory is expected to continue today, with forecasted local gusts of up to 50 mph in the passes and valleys. The Los Angeles County Fire Department said crews have stepped up patrols in this brush fire-prone region. Also, a strike team – a rapid-response group of five engine companies under the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – has been deployed to Santa Clarita in case of a blaze. The county Fire Department also has strike teams standing guard in Calabasas and La Caada Flintridge. “Our crews are on heightened awareness, patrolling the area and making their presence known,” said Jason Hurd, a county fire inspector based in Santa Clarita. The alert comes as crews mopped up two wildfires that have blackened more than 25,000 acres over the past week in the San Fernando Valley and beyond. The Topanga Fire burned more than 24,000 acres along the border of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Containment was expected Tuesday. The Castaways Fire charred 1,100 acres in the Verdugo Mountains over Burbank. Wildfires charred 39,000 acres in 2004 in the Santa Clarita Valley. last_img read more