Diminished winds on Tuesday allowed for increased containment and limited growth of many fires currently burning in California including the Getty Fire in Los Angeles and the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. Fire weather conditions are expected to worsen starting Wednesday morning as a near record strength Santa Ana wind event is expected to impact southern California through Thursday with localized wind gusts possibly reaching 80 miles per hour.
As of 7:00 PDT on October 29 The Getty Fire, located in western Los Angeles, has reached a size of 656 acres indicating a growth of 38 acres in the past 24 hours. The Los Angeles Fire Department reports that due to diminished winds on Tuesday containment of the Getty Fire has increased to 15 percent. Approximately 12 residences have been destroyed by the fire with an additional 5 residences damaged. Evacuations remain in place and the LAFD estimates that over 7,000 residences remain threatened by the fire. A strong Santa Ana wind event is expected to impact the area of the Getty Fire starting Wednesday morning with sustained winds reaching 30-50 miles per hour and relative humidities dropping into the single digits. These conditions are expected to persist through Thursday and will lead to diminished suppression and containment capabilities and possible extreme fire behavior, including ember spotting and ignitions from existing smoldering fires.
Getty Fire perimeter located in western Los Angeles, California. SOURCE: USGS/GeoMAC
As of 7:00 PM PDT on October 29 CalFire reports that the Kincade Fire, located in Sonoma County, California, has reached a size of 76,138 acres and 15% containment representing a growth of just under 2,000 acres in the past 24 hours without any increase in containment. CalFire reports that 189 structures have been destroyed by the Kincade Fire, including 86 residential structures, with an additional 39 structures damaged by the fire. Evacuations remain in place with an estimated 90,000 structures threatened by the fire. While not as extreme as southern California, critical fire weather conditions are expected in the area of the Kincade Fire today with sustained winds reaching 20-30 miles per hour and relative humidities dropping to 8-15 percent before the winds diminish starting this afternoon.
Kincade Fire perimeter located in Sonoma County, California. SOURCE: USGS/GeoMAC
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center estimates that approximately 4.5 million people in southern California will be affected by extremely critical fire weather conditions today with a total of approximately 14 million people across the state affected by critical fire weather conditions. Wednesday will be the fourth consecutive day, and the sixth day out of the last seven, of extremely critical fire weather conditions for California making this the second time since 2001 that there have been four or more consecutive days of extremely critical fire weather conditions according to the SPC. A strong high pressure system is located over the central Rockies driving offshore flow over much of California resulting in strong winds and low relative humidities in parts of California. A slight decrease in winds may occur midday Wednesday as temperatures increase across the Great Basin and Rockies but as a cold air mass moves in across the Rockies and Great Basin Wednesday night winds are expected to increase. The SPC is currently forecasting extremely critical fire weather conditions to persist in southern California through Thursday with critical fire weather conditions possible for southern California on Friday.
Fire Weather Outlook today. Pink – Extremely Critical risk; Red – Critical risk; Orange – Elevated risk. Source: NOAA/SPC
Surface wind gust forecast for noon PDT Wednesday. Widespread light blue shading representing wind gusts in excess of 50 mph in the Santa Monica and Los Angeles County Mountains. Source: NWS/Los Angeles Office
This report was compiled with integrated information from the public agencies listed below. Regional conditions can vary depending on local weather conditions. Interested parties can monitor the sites below for updates and developments, and statements from these sites supersede this update.