Wind-driven walls of flames spurred mass evacuations in Southern California and left two firefighters badly injured on Monday, as hundreds of thousands of residents endured a second day of power shutoffs meant to counter heightened fire risks from gusty, dry weather.
A man is silhouetted as he watches the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Yorba Linda, California, U.S., Oct. 26, 2020.
The latest threats came amid what meteorologists called the strongest onslaught of extreme winds – and lowest humidity levels – yet documented during an already epic California wildfire season ranked as the worst on record in terms of acreage burned.
Firefighters are seen as the Silverado Fire approaches, near Irvine, California, U.S. Oct. 26, 2020.
Red flag warnings for incendiary weather conditions remained in place across much of California due to winds gusting in excess of 80 miles per hour (129 kph), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
A man walks away from the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Yorba Linda, California, U.S., Oct. 26, 2020.
A firefighter uses a hose as the Silverado Fire approaches, near Irvine, California, U.S. Oct. 26, 2020.
Fires have scorched more than 6,400 square miles (16,500 square kilometers) - equivalent to the landmass of the state of Hawaii - since the start of the year, with thousands of homes destroyed and 31 lives lost.