Orange County firefighters are increasing staff and patrols in anticipation of powerful winds that could reach 65 mph, bringing a red-flag fire warning and potentially causing property damage.You can listen to fire dispatches from the OCFA and other Orange County agencies here.
Trees or power lines could be downed and hazards raised for drivers as the winds begin to kick up Wednesday night, the National Weather Service says.
The winds should hit their peak Thursday morning, with another, less powerful peak Friday morning.
The Orange County Fire Authority will staff one helicopter for 24 hours, add a fourth engine on fire calls to watch for sparks spread by winds, and place one engine crew on 24-hour duty during the wind event, said spokesman Mark Stone.
“We’re up-staffing,” he said. “The bottom line is we don’t want to get caught behind the eight ball on this one.”
Fire-watch volunteers also will fan out into the county’s wild lands to discourage firebugs and watch for ignitions.
A red-flag warning was issued by the Weather Service from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 3 p.m. Friday, one of three separate alerts called by the agency because of the expected winds.
A red-flag means “explosive fire-growth potential” is expected, when humidity drops to 15 percent and sustained winds rise to 25 mph or higher, gusts to 35.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Things could get pretty busy for firefighters in the next 36 hours:
Posted by Rick Moore on 11/30/2011