Southern California Braces: Forecasters Say Even Stronger Winds Could Stoke Fires

The fierce Santa Ana winds that have driven massive wildfires in Southern California could get even stronger on Thursday, officials warned, as four fires near Los Angeles had grown to engulf more than 100,000 acres. Forecasters were predicting gusts of up to 80 mph, likely grounding helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft used to drop water on the blazes. “The forecast for tomorrow is purple,” Ken Pimlott, director at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said, referring to the only color above red on the wind scale. “We’ve never used purple before.” As The Associated Press notes, “The wilder winds could easily make new fires explode too, as one did Wednesday in Los Angeles’ exclusive Bel-Air section, where a fire consumed multimillion-dollar houses that give the rich and famous sweeping views of Los Angeles.” Mary Plummer, a reporter with member station KPCC in…

Original published: 2017-12-07 10:41:00 Read the full Seattle News here

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