UPDATED 3:05 PM PT – Thursday, December 3, 2020
As multiple fires continue to rage in California, the state faces a wave of dry winds and low humidity levels, which raises concerns about another heavy round of major wildfires.
A ‘red flag warning,’ which is extremely rare this late in the year, is already in place for parts of Southern California.
The warning is expected to stay in place through the weekend as the dry Santa Ana winds are expected to blow across the parched region. As a precaution, utility companies in the region braced for such threats by cutting electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes on Wednesday evening.
Experts said the powerful winds could reach speeds as high as 75 miles-per-hour. These winds have the potential to knock over hazardous power lines, which have been known to cause major wildfires in the past.
2020 has already been the most destructive year in the Golden State’s history for wildfires as more than four million acres have been torched over the course of the summer alone.
Meanwhile, as residents hope for wetter weather in the coming winter months, multiple fires continue to burn.
On Wednesday, the ‘Willow Fire‘ erupted near San Diego. This prompted numerous evacuation orders as the blaze threatened multiple homes.
.@CALFIRESANDIEGO is at scene with San Miguel Fire of a vegetation fire near Willow Glen Drive and Hillsdale Road in Rancho San Diego. 10-15 acres, structures threatened. #WillowFire pic.twitter.com/ZgQk3etuvC
— CAL FIRE/SAN DIEGO COUNTY FIRE (@CALFIRESANDIEGO) December 3, 2020
“We did see some flames. We had some friends down the hill a little bit and some flames were coming up over that side too,” a San Diego resident stated. “We’ve been here 20 years and you kind of wonder if this is gonna happen because anytime you live on a hillside, you get a lot of wind.”
Calfire reported the flames spread rapidly by covering 25 acres in just a few hours. After firefighters worked to contain the spread through Thursday morning, evacuation orders were lifted though the fire has not yet been completely contained.
In the meantime, fire crews also battled the ‘Bond Fire‘ in Silverado Canyon near Los Angeles.
— Ashley Ludwig (@AE_Ludwig) December 3, 2020
Evacuation orders were announced for nearby residents after a house fire sparked the blaze Wednesday night. The flames have already spread thousands of acres.
As the forecast does not show any wet weather expected in the near future, officials considered issuing a red flag warning in northern California as well. Weather experts said after the especially devastating year the state has had, the Bay Area is 95 percent behind where it should be in the rainfall season. The area needs at least 2.5 inches of rain to return to normal.