(Portions Courtesy of the National Weather Service and the Fire Safe Council East Orange County Canyons)
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for most of Orange County, effective from 2:00 AM on Friday, October 4, until 8:00 PM on Sunday, October 6.
“I urge all Orange County residents to be vigilant and take extra precautions during this Red Flag Warning,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer, also an Orange County Fire Authority Director, said. “The Third District’s canyon communities are particularly vulnerable in these conditions.”
The Fire Safe Council East Orange County Canyons will raise Red Flags at the Silverado / Santiago Canyon Road Junction and Cook’s Corner. The Red Flags are meant to serve as a reminder to anyone in the area to be extremely cautious.
Orange County residents should:
•Report any suspicious activity directly to 9-1-1
•Any mowing or weed eating should be done before 10 AM & after 6 PM (and NEVER during extremely dry or windy conditions)
•Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation
•Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished, do not smoke near dry brush or grass, and never throw cigarette butts from car windows
•Spark arresters are always required in wildland areas on all portable gasoline powered equipment, and think twice before using powered equipment on windy days
•Park your vehicles headed out for quick evacuation, and do not block the street with parked vehicles nor park over dry grass
•Think ahead when planning outdoor activities, and reconsider outdoor BBQs or other potentially hazardous activities
•Check local conditions and restrictions with OC Parks and the US Forest Service before venturing into the wilderness parks and national forest
The National Weather Service states more specifically that a moderate strength Santa Ana Wind event now appears likely for late Thursday night through Sunday with northeast to east winds sustained 25 to 40 miles per hour (mph) with local gusts as high as 65 mph through and below canyons and passes. Winds will peak Friday night and Saturday, then diminish Saturday night and Sunday morning, and then turn onshore by Sunday afternoon. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions will occur, and a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will contribute to extreme fire behavior.