Dry and windy conditions persisted across southern California Wednesday and overnight into Thursday fanning the flames of existing fires and sparking numerous new fires. Despite the difficult conditions fire suppression crews were able to gain additional containment of the Getty Fire, limiting significant further growth. The same dry and windy conditions allowed for rapid growth of new fires including the Easy Fire in Simi Valley and the Hillside Fire in San Bernadino. The Kincade Fire in northern California did not experience the same extreme wind conditions that were present in southern California on Wednesday allowing for increased suppression and containment. Extremely critical fire weather conditions are expected to persist in southern California through the morning on Thursday with winds diminishing starting Thursday afternoon.
As of 7:00 PM PDT on October 30 the Kincade fire had been burning for over a week consuming 76,825 acres, an increase in size of 687 acres over the previous day. Despite challenging suppression conditions crews were able to further contain the fire with containment now reaching 45 percent. CalFire reports that 266 structures have been destroyed by the fire including 133 residential structures. This represents a significant increase in destroyed structures over yesterday although this is due to continued surveying of affected areas rather than new destruction yesterday. Conditions on Thursday in the region of the Kincade Fire will be favorable for fire suppression and containment activities. CalFire currently projects a full containment date of the Kincade Fire of November 7 although evacuations remain in place and an estimated 90,000 structures remain threatened by the fire.
Kincade Fire perimeter located in Sonoma County, California. SOURCE: USGS/GeoMAC
Despite the challenging conditions in southern California yesterday crews were able to increase the containment of the Getty Fire to 39 percent and limit growth to a further 89 acres making the total fire size 745 acres. The Los Angeles Fire Department reports that 12 residences have been destroyed by the fire with a further five residences damaged. Evacuation orders remain in place although some repopulation of affected areas has taken place. The LAFD reports over 7,000 residences are considered threatened by the fire.
Getty Fire perimeter located in western Los Angeles, California. SOURCE: USGS/GeoMAC
The Easy Fire ignited on the morning of October 30 in Simi Valley, California. Fanned by strong winds and burning in predominantly grassy fuels the fire spread extremely quickly and currently stands at 1,650 acres burned with zero percent containment. According to the Ventura County Fire Department the Easy Fire has destroyed 2 structures thus far with an additional 7,000 structures threatened and 30,000 residents currently under mandatory evacuation order.
Approximate location of the Easy Fire in Simi Valley, California. Fire Detection in last 6 hours (dark red), last 12 hours (red), last 24 hours (orange), beyond 24 hours (yellow) Source: USFS/MODIS
The Hillside Fire ignited in the early hours of October 31 in northern San Bernadino, California. The San Bernadino County Fire Department reports that the fire is currently 200 acres with evacuations in place and media reports indicating homes have been destroyed by the fire.
Fire Weather Forecast
According to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center extremely critical fire weather conditions will persist through the morning with winds diminishing as the day progresses. Conditions will still be considered critical throughout the day meaning further growth of currently burning fires is possible as well as quick spread of new ignitions. A strengthening of winds is possible tonight as a high pressure system descends from Canada although critical fire weather conditions are likely to be limited to only the highest mountain terrain. The SPC is currently forecasting elevated fire weather conditions for southern California for Friday.
Fire Weather Outlook today. Pink – Extremely Critical risk; Red – Critical risk; Orange – Elevated risk. Source: NOAA/SPC
Fire Weather Outlook tomorrow, November 1, 2019. Pink – Extremely Critical risk; Red – Critical risk; Orange – Elevated risk. Source: NOAA/SPC