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Tuesday, July 16, 2024 9:13 AM PDT

Ferocious Santa Ana Winds wreak havoc across region

By Reginald Stanley. Posted December 7, 2017, 8:23 PM.

High Pressure over the Great Basin has been funneling particularly severe Santa Ana Winds through the region this week, beginning on Monday. The winds became more severe on Thursday, fueling numerous wildfires and causing extensive damage.

Six large wildfires burned across the region Thursday, fueled by vicious dry Santa Ana Winds which began on Monday. The National Weather Service rated the counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, western Riverside, southwestern San Bernardino, and San Diego in the Extreme Fire Danger catgeory Thursday afternoon. Made worse by an unusually very dry rainy season up to this point, fire danger was excessively high this week due to strong winds and low humidity.

The six major wildfires are burning in Ventura County (Thomas Fire), Los Angeles County in the San Gabriel Mountains (Rye Fire, Creek Fire, Wilson Fire) and near Bel Air (Skirball Fire), western Riverside County near Murrieta and French Valley (Liberty Fire), and northern San Diego county (Lilac Fire). More details on the wildfires, road closures, evacuations and containment can be accessed through CalFire's website. The National Weather Service has issued High Wind Warnings for all of the above afflicted areas through at least 4PM Friday. Sustained winds of up to 40mph have occurred in the valleys, and up to 60mph in the mountains and canyons. Isolated gusts of up to 70mph have been reported.

Offshore flow is forecast to continue into the weekend, however the winds will be warmer and not as strong as they have been this week.

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