Biggest winds in years threaten LA, Kincade Fire booms to 75K acres


ABC News(NEW YORK) — The biggest Santa Ana wind event in years may be heading to Southern California Tuesday night, making the dangerous wildfires even more unmanageable.Getty FireBurning in the hills north of Los Angeles’ famous Getty Center, the Getty Fire, which started just before 2 a.m. local time Monday, has consumed over 650 acres and destroyed at least eight homes along steep terrain.”This fire will not be down and done for a couple of weeks,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned Tuesday.Over 20,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night, including in neighborhoods like Brentwood and the Pacific Palisades, some of the most expensive real estate in the city.The blaze is just 5 percent contained, and a major Santa Ana wind event is hitting Tuesday night, which firefighters warn could trigger significant blazes.”We’ve seen historically what’s happened,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Jaime Moore, citing the 1961 Bel Air Fire that destroyed more than 400 homes.The Santa Ana wind event could bring wind gusts up to 80 mph to Southern California on Wednesday and Thursday.”So we know the footprint that this fire can make with heavy gusts of wind,” Moore told ABC News Tuesday. “What we’re gonna see tonight, about 11 p.m., as these Santa Ana winds come through … probably the worst winds Los Angeles has seen in the last two to three years.”Moore, defending the decision to evacuate so many residents, warned that the winds could trigger significant fires by stirring up embers and then hurling them one or two miles away.”We anticipate that nobody [in the evacuation zone] is going home tonight,” Garcetti said Tuesday.”I want people in Brentwood and Palisades… to understand the department is doing this on history and based on very keen analysis of the weather patterns,” Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin said Tuesday. “It is that analysis and that determined effort to protect that same thing from happening that is leading to the continued evacuation order.”Kincade FireMeanwhile, in Northern California, the monster Kincade Fire has been burning since Wednesday night in the heart of wine country.The massive blaze has consumed over 75,000 acres and has destroyed 57 homes.California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the Kincade Fire the most “vexing” and “challenging.”Thousands of firefighters are working around the clock to battle the blaze, which is 15 percent contained. The cause is under investigation.The Stauer family’s house was destroyed by a wildfire two years ago — and now a new home, just three months old, is being threatened by the Kincade Fire.”We’re veterans now,” Nick Stauer told ABC News.”We are both Sonoma County natives,” said Stpehanie Stauer. “We were born and raised in Petaluma, and this is the first time as this event is unfolding that we’ve seriously had the conversation of it might be time to really reconsider leaving here.”While the Getty Fire and Kincade Fire still pose major threats, crews put out over 300 blazes across the Golden State within 24 hours, Newsom said Monday. Firefighters from states across the west came to California to help.This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.