Elevated Fire Conditions in Malibu Monday, February 7 through sunday, february 13 Due to Santa Ana Winds, Low Humidity and High Temps
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts elevated fire weather conditions for Malibu Monday, Feb. 7 – Sunday, Feb. 13 due to an extended period of gusty Santa Ana Winds with hot temperatures and low humidities.
Monday, Feb. 7 through Tuesday, Feb. 8: NE wind with gusts of 25-45 mph focused over Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Humidity: Minimums 10-15% with isolated 7-10%. Temperatures: Highs 75-85F common for coastal and valley areas. Assessment: A few hours of red flag weather conditions each day, but due to high live fuel moistures, no Red Flag Warnings are considered.
Tuesday, Feb. 8 through Thursday, Feb. 10: NE-E wind with gusts of 35-55 mph and isolated gusts to 60 mph in the LA County mountains, focused over wind prone areas of LA and Ventura counties. Humidity: Minimums 6-12% Wednesday, 10-18% Thursday. Temperatures: Highs 80-90 for coastal and valley areas, approaching record levels (Excessive Heat Watch for LA County Coast and valleys with potential for heat stress/illness). Assessment: Large area and multiple hours of red flag weather conditions likely. Due to high live fuel moistures no Red Flag Warnings are considered, but active wildfires are possible, especially in areas where Santa Ana winds align with older growth vegetation fuel beds.
Friday, Feb. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 13: Long duration of offshore flow likely to continue through the weekend with no chances of rain. Weak to moderate Santa Ana winds, with some uncertainty in strength of winds. Continued very dry conditions with low daytime humidities 8-15% and poor overnight recoveries. Continued hot weather with highs in the 80s across coastal and valley areas.
The Live Fuel Moisture (LFM) for the Santa Monica Mountains is at 156% as of January 31, up from 92% last month. The above-normal precipitation in December combined with warm temperatures have caused a widespread green-up, but due to the lack of rain in January, dead fuels have dried out substantially. Malibu could still have a significant fire if there is a fire start that is in alignment with Santa Ann winds and slope.
The City of Malibu tracks Live Fuel Moisture (LFM) in the Malibu area as an important part of determining current fire conditions for our community. LFM is the percentage of water content to dry matter in live vegetation. LFM can be as high as 200%, and 60% or lower is considered critical. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Forestry Division conducts sampling approximately every two weeks and posts the results on their website: https://fire.lacounty.gov/fire-weather-danger.
Malibu residents, businesses, employees and others in the community should be prepared for potential fires, evacuations, power and traffic signal outages, downed tree limbs and powerlines, hazardous driving conditions and debris in the road way. Drive with caution, especially on canyon roads. Under California law, always approach an intersection with a malfunctioning traffic signal as if it were an all-way stop sign. See LA County's emergency preparedness guide.
CHECK YOUR PLANS AND SUPPLIES
Review your emergency plans, including evacuation routes and reunification locations, and check your emergency supplies for expired batteries, food and medication, including for pets. Keep your vehicle gas tank full. Be sure you know how to manually open your garage door if the power is out. Please check in on neighbors, family and friends who are elderly or disabled to make sure they are prepared and informed. See more power outage preparedness info. Review the City’s Evacuation Plan, evacuation zones and maps and evacuation terminology (Order, Warning etc.) on the webpage.
Residents should monitor emergency and weather updates on local AM and FM radio (which will work with handcrank, solar, battery-powered and car radios if the power is out). The City will send out emergency alerts as needed and post all emergency information on the website. All current City alerts are posted on the Alerts webpage. To sign up for alerts from the City via text message or email, visit the Alerts webpage (scroll down to “Alert Center.”)
HIGH SURF ADVISORY
NWS also issued a high surf advisory for the LA Coast, including Malibu, and Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands from 12:00 PM Monday, October 11 through 8:00 AM Tuesday, October 12, with large breaking waves of 5 to 8 feet and dangerous rip currents. Hazards include an increased risk for ocean drowning, rip currents that can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea, beach erosion, debris in the water, and large breaking waves that can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks, and capsize small boats near shore. Always swim near a staffed lifeguard station. If caught in a rip current, relax and tread water. Don`t swim against the current. If able, swim parallel to show until the current diminishes or pushes you back to shore. Face the shore and call and wave for help. See more details on the NWS website.