More than 110,000 acres are burning in California. Over 76,000 acres alone have burned in the "Kindcade Fire" in northern California. The newly formed "Easy Fire"in southern California spread over 400 acres in 2 hours Wednesday morning threatening the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
The reason for the explosive fire danger is because of one of the most dangerous Santa Ana wind events in recent history. The winds are being driven by very high pressure over the west. The pressure difference between the areas inland and the California coast are producing hurricane force wind gusts. The National Weather Service issued an rare Extreme Red Flag Warning. As the wind squeezes through the mountain passes, the wind speeds up and the air also heats up and dries out. The winds, low humidity, and dry vegetation is allowing for fires to spread at uncontrollable speeds.
The state of California is smothered with weather warnings and watches from north to south including air quality alerts for smoke and dust. Millions of people far from the burning forests are at risk for lung and heart problems as the thick smoke lingers.
The strongest winds will diminish Thursday providing some relief for the fight against the raging wildfires. Until the fires are contained evacuations, unhealthy air, and rolling blackouts are becoming the “new normal” for millions of California residents.