An “extreme wind event” will relentlessly pummel the state of California on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and it will be a challenge unlike anything firefighters in the state have ever faced before.
Right now there are 17 wildfirescurrently burning in the state, but that number is expected to rise significantly over the next 72 hours. High winds can carry embers a great distance from the existing fires, and it only takes a single ember to start a new blaze. Over the next three days, “devil winds” of up to 80 mph will create conditions that are absolutely ideal for the spread of wildfires, and this has caused authorities to issue “red flag warnings” for 43 different California counties. To have this many counties under a “red flag warning” is extremely unusual, and Californians are bracing for 72 hours of hell as raging infernos burn all around them.
So far, the largest blaze is the Kincade Fire in northern California. It has been burning since October 23rd, and at this point it has consumed 75,000 acres.
To put that in perspective, that is approximately twice the size of San Francisco.
Thousands of firefighters are fighting the Kincade fire around the clock, but it is currently only “15% contained”.
The brave men and women that fight these fires don’t get nearly enough credit. They are literally putting their lives on the line in order to protect the rest of us…
San Francisco firefighters shared heart-stopping video on Tuesday showing the front window view of a firetruck rushing to the front lines of the fire on a burning hill in Sonoma County, passing through thick smoke, orange flames, and blazing embers.
San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 shared the footage on Twitter showing the Kincade Fire rage at 3am adding: ‘We appreciate their complete dedication to the task of protecting lives and property.’
On Tuesday, Pacific Gas & Electric began another massive blackout in order to help prevent more fires from starting.
Approximately 1.5 million Californians are currently without power, and needless to say this is fraying a lot of nerves.
Meanwhile, the Getty Fire in southern California continues to make headlines all over the nation.
At this point it is only “5% contained”, and many are concerned that the high winds could cause it to start spreading rapidly again.
More than 1,000 firefighters are attempting to contain the Getty Fire, and LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas is warning that the high winds are expected “to be the worst the region has seen this season”…
With about 1,100 firefighters battling the blaze, crews’ main objective Tuesday will be to boost containment ahead of extreme Santa Ana winds set to arrive overnight and into early Wednesday. The gusts are expected to be the worst the region has seen this season, said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.
Unfortunately, this crisis will not be over once we get to Friday.
In fact, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is telling us that the Getty Fire will not be completely out “for a couple of weeks”.
Of course new fires can start at any time. According to Terrazas, all it takes to start another horrific blaze is for “one ember to blow downwind”…
‘It only takes one ember to blow downwind to start another fire. We’re very concerned about tonight’s wind event,’ LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said to the Los Angeles Times.
‘We know we’re going to have a major wind event tonight at about 11 o’clock that’s going to last until Thursday. We’re doing everything we can to wrap our arms around this fire to be able to prevent a potential of those strong gusty Santa Ana winds, pushing this fire, rekindling a lot of the fire and blowing embers a mile to two miles down range,’ Assistant Chief Jaime Moore with Los Angeles Fire said.
That is what makes these high winds so dangerous.
A massive new fire could start anywhere downwind of the existing fires, and it can happen at any time of the night or day.
So let us keep those living in California in prayer, because the next 72 hours are going to be immensely stressful.
If the fires were heading toward my home, I don’t know if I could sleep. When high winds are howling, these fires can move at lightning speed, and some Californians have had to evacuate so rapidly that they have literally lost everything…
Painter Wade Hoefer returned to his home at the Soda Rock Winery on Tuesday only to find his neighborhood in the heart of wine country was gone.
‘It’s just ashes,’ the 71-year-old artist-in-residence said. ‘I lost my whole life there. All I have is my clothes on my back’.
Could you imagine if that happened to you?
It is being reported that more than 20 million California residents are potentially in danger from the wildfires at this moment. Nobody knows exactly where the current fires are heading next, and nobody knows exactly where the next fires will start.
But what we do know is that the “devil winds” are coming, and that they will be extremely powerful for the next 72 hours…
Santa Ana winds blowing between 50 and 70 mph with isolated gusts up to 80 mph in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains are expected to arrive late Tuesday and last through Thursday evening, forecasters say. The predicted wind speeds prompted the National Weather Service to issue an extreme red flag warning, cautioning the public of high potential for “very rapid fire spread, long range spotting and extreme fire behavior with any new fire ignitions.”
In essence, for the next three days Californians will be dealing with near hurricane-force winds as massive wildfires rage all around them.
It truly will be 72 hours of hell, and let us hope that the destruction caused by these horrific fires can somehow be minimized.