October 13, 2008

Overnight Winds Expected on LA Fire Lines

The National Weather Service warned late Monday that brisk Santa Ana winds would continue to whip a pair of wildfires raging in northern Los Angeles.

The two fires had consumed more than 10,000 acres and destroyed several homes in the San Fernando Valley and were blamed for two deaths as of late Monday afternoon.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon in Los Angeles and Ventura County where dry winds out of the northeast were expected to continue after sunset.

A red-flag warning remained in effect for the counties. Winds were expected to slack off sometime Tuesday; however the warning was in effect until late Wednesday.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Mike Freeman told reporters that forecasters were warning of wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour Monday night.

Around 800 firefighters continued to battle the 5,000-acre Senson Fire near Porter Ranch and the 5,300-acre Mareck blaze on the eastern fringes of the Valley.

Freeman said the Senson fire, which broke out Monday morning, posed a potential threat to jump Highway 101 and burn west to the sea.