California is so hot and dry that not even soaking rain can ease fall fire peril
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A wildfire burning on the west side of Los Angeles has burned through 3,823 acres and is 100% contained. The blaze destroyed more than 100 structures and forced more than 100,000 people to flee. Now, after three months of scorching temperatures, the Santa Ana winds and the dryness of the state are starting to make its way into the dangerous winds that produce California’s major wildfires.
The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has issued a wind advisory Wednesday afternoon, saying there are winds of about 25 mph coming across the mountain ridge that includes Los Angeles and can push hot, dry air into the region causing high fire danger.
A wildfire near Chatsworth, California, as seen from the air
A blaze in the Simi Hills area that was started by a campfire and ignited by lightning has been contained. It has burned 3,000 acres.
With the dry, hot summer, wildfires are often blamed for the dry conditions and lack of precipitation. But a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that fires are even more likely to ignite in the winter months, when their fuel is dryer and their growth more intense. And they have been particularly more destructive in California.
At the moment, California is suffering through one of its worst wildfires in history. Two people died and nearly 50,000 people fled to safety. The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has warned people to keep extra distance from the flames, even in windy areas, and to carry firefighting equipment with them if they must.
On Wednesday, the city of Los Angeles issued an evacuation order for all its residents within a 20-mile radius.
At least one firefighter has been killed so far in the inferno. Others are battling flames.
By Wednesday afternoon, there was little visible evidence of the flames that raged the night before. But they were still burning.
The temperature in Southern California