Biggest winds in years threaten to bring more blazes to Los Angeles


ABC News(NEW YORK) — The biggest Santa Ana wind event of the year may be heading to Southern California this week, 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 600 acres and destroyed at least eight homes.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. Southbound lanes of the 405 freeway, the busiest highway in the country, were closed. The blaze is just 5% 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 in which over 400 homes were lost. 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 morning. “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.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 74,000 acres and is 15% contained. The cause is under investigation.Lighter winds overnight helped firefighters across the state battle the ongoing blazes, but this will not last long. On Tuesday, winds will increase in Northern California and gust to over 50 mph. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.