Strong Winds May Cause Los Angeles Fires to Flare Up Again

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22 (UPI) — Efforts to finally, fully contain the Station Fire in Los Angeles could be hampered Tuesday by strong winds, officials said.

Firefighters had hoped that Tuesday would be the day they finally brought the massive wildfire in the Angeles National Forest under full containment, a month after it began. But strong Santa Ana winds of between 20 and 30 mph were predicted, along with triple-digit temperatures and low humidity, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The National Weather Service issued “red flag” alerts for Tuesday, indicating that fires can spread rapidly, for most of Los Angeles County, while humidity was expected to drop into the single digits, the newspaper said.

Fire officials said Monday the Station Fire, which has burned 160,557 acres and destroyed 89 homes, was 94 percent contained. Helicopters dropped 174,000 gallons of water on the fire during the weekend, targeting hotspots on Mt. Wilson.

“That’s the last area we’re really concerned about,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jamie Meier told the Times. “If those were to flare up and move, they could move into unburned areas.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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