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Southland will have a windy start to new year

January 01, 2008|Susannah Rosenblatt | Times Staff Writer

High winds were forecast and a red flag warning was issued for the Southland through this afternoon.

Gusts of up to 50 mph were predicted overnight Monday for areas from Malibu to the Hollywood Hills, said forecaster Stan Wasowski of the National Weather Service in San Diego.

High winds also were expected in Orange County's coastal areas and in Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Pasadena, home to the annual Rose Parade on New Year's Day, is somewhat geographically protected from high winds, but "it wouldn't surprise us to see a little bit of wind develop up there," Wasowski said.

The biggest gusts were expected overnight, so breezes probably will be all that remain by the parade's 8 a.m. start, he said.

The red flag advisory signals increased fire danger in the mountains and forests of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, Wasowski said.

Staffing has been increased at fire stations, and strike teams have been sent to areas around Malibu and Santa Clarita as a precaution, said Inspector Frank Garrido of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"We're hoping that all is well for the new year and nothing happens," he said.

susannah.rosenblatt @latimes.com

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