Wildfires were galloping across at least two dense urban counties in Southern California on Tuesday, exacerbating what is already the state’s worst fire season ever.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported several uncontained fires as of Tuesday morning in Ventura County, home to 850,000, and Los Angeles County, with more than 10 million residents.
— Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) December 5, 2017
A post shared by Sundance Beach (@sundancebeach) on Dec 5, 2017 at 3:57am PST
Firefighters are also working to contain the Riverdale Fire, which scorched 40 acres after it was ignited Monday afternoon by a man fleeing from Riverside County sheriff’s deputies.
— Watchara Phomicinda (@watcharaphotog) December 4, 2017
Stiff seasonal Santa Ana winds with gusts reaching 70 mph are driving the flames of the active fires over hills and through dry brush, making it harder for the more than 1,000 deployed firefighters to contain the blazes.
This devastation has been years in the making, as Californians have kept building homes in high-risk areas. Meanwhile, record heat this summer following a wet winter left much of the state buried in dry kindling.
And there’s no relief in sight — the National Weather Service is reporting “extreme fire danger” through Thursday for the Los Angeles area from the longest and strongest Santa Ana event so far this season.
Damaging #SantaAnaWinds and very critical fire weather conditions today and again late Wed night-Thu. Main impacts include downed trees/powerlines, blowing dust, power outages, and very rapid fire spread. #LAWind #cawx pic.twitter.com/cvUEA2bDc2
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) December 5, 2017
Tens of thousands of Californians had to flee flames and smoke from the deadly record wine country fires in the northern part of the state last month. The United States as a whole has suffered the second-worst fire season on record, with more than 9.1 million acres burned this year so far.
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