NBA star Lebron James fled his Los Angeles home early Monday morning as the wind-whipped Getty Fire consumed the city’s dry brush.
But even more severe wind-driven fire conditions will likely hit burning Los Angeles and the greater Southern California region on Tuesday night, lasting through Wednesday and Thursday. These winds blowing in from the vast eastern desert, called Santa Ana winds, will be the strongest of the season in some areas and at least as potent as the vigorous wind events of last week, explained National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Tardy in a video briefing Tuesday night.
“This presents itself as very high fire danger,” Tardy said.
“Strong, damaging winds, long duration of low humidity and dry vegetation will make this a very critical event!” emphasized the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office.
Though these California winds can grow exceptionally intense, they are common in the fall and winter, and continually blow dry air on already parched vegetation during each wind event, leading to ever more dryness. Then, all you need is a spark. And in a region rife with human activity, wind-whipped power lines, car fires, or the innocuous use of a hammer are readily available to throw a hot spark on the cracked, parched brush.
What’s more, the Santa Ana winds — which get amplified as they swoop down mountains and through canyons — often arrive before the onset of California’s rainy season, which at its earliest begins in October. Critically,