A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires have been burning in Southern California since Tuesday prompting the National Weather Service to call this, “the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event we have seen so far this season.”
To date, according to officials, there has been zero containment on the two most destructive fires in the area, the Thomas and Creek, and a third fire, the Bel-Air Fire has shut down the northbound 405 freeway near the Getty Center as of this morning. These Santa Ana winds, which are seasonal dry winds caused by high pressure over the Great Basin, are not expected to die down until Thursday.
Thousands of residents have been evacuated since Tuesday with more evacuation notices expected.
NFPA and its wildfire partners remind residents to:
* Stay alert. If you are near the fire activity or in an area with a Red Flag Warning - where conditions are ripe for
wildfire - stay tuned to news and official reports and be ready to leave; don’t wait for an official evacuation order.
* Prepare a plan. If your community is not in immediate danger from the fires but you live in a surrounding area, it’s still very important to construct a plan for (and with!) your family in case you need to evacuate.
* Create a “go-kit” for every member of the family and for your pets. The bag should contain essentials you will need in case you’re away from home for a few days.
NFPA has a number of valuable resources including checklists and tip sheets that will help get you started and prepared. Find them all at www.nfpa.org/wildfire.
The Southern California fires come on the heels of the deadliest and most destructive fires in the state's history in Northern California wine country in early October that killed 44 people and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures.