The ferocious Santa Ana winds are expected to linger for a final day across Southern California after fueling more than a dozen wildfires across the region that caused thousands to evacuate and burning up to the walls of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
The National Weather Service issued a rare extreme red flag warning until 6 p.m. on Thursday for much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties due to the Santa Ana winds event thats expected to last around 36 hours.
These prolonged dangerous fire weather conditions combined with the very dry fuels and presence of existing fires and associated flare-ups adds up to extreme Red Flag conditions for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the NWS said. As a result, there is high potential for very rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior with new or existing fires.
Peak gusts on Thursday are expected to reach up to 65 mph, which is a bit weaker than on Wednesday, when wind gusts reached up to 76 mph.
MOST GETTY FIRE MANDATORY EVACUATIONS LIFTED IN LOS ANGELES, OFFICIALS SAY
Firefighters managed to keep blazes that sparked in the past few days in tinder-dry brush from causing widespread damage, including working through the night to make sure the Easy Fire that burned dangerously near the Reagan library Wednesdaydoesnt re-erupt. There are at least six fires across the region.
Here is more on some of the major blazes burning through Southern California onThursday.
The Hillside Fire broke out early Thursday morning in San Bernardino, torching at least six homes and two outbuildings.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department said the blaze was reported along Highway 18 at Lower Waterman Canyon. The vegetation fire started onthree acres and quickly erupted.
Video from KABC-TV showed at least four homes on fire, and more than 200 acres have burned, FOX11 reported.
Authorities have ordered evacuations for the Northpark neighborhood and all areas in north San Bernardino west of Highway 18.San Bernardino County Fire Chief Don Trapp said in a press conference that about 500 homes have been evacuated.
A fast-spreading blaze in the Jurupa Valley caused evacuations early Thursday in Riverside County after suspects driving a stolen car during a police chase pulled their damaged vehicle into a field, sparking the fire, according to officials.
The 46 Fire broke out at about 12:39 a.m. in the 5300-block of 46th Street in Jurupa Valley and quickly spread, sparking evacuations. Three homes and twooutbuildings were destroyed in the fire, officials told FOX11.
RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY ESCAPES DAMAGE FROM EASY FIRE AMID EXTREME RED FLAG WARNING
Railsback said the chase lasted 3 to 4 miles shortly after midnight Thursday before the suspects abandoned the damaged vehicle and tried to run away before being caught. The heat from the vehicle and its tires driving into the field caused the blaze, according to Railsback.
Both suspects had outstanding felony arrest warrants and were taken into custody, according to police.
The blaze has burned at least 300 acres and is five percent contained.
The Castlewood Fire broke out around 7:40 p.m. on Wednesday in Fullerton, Calif., sparking a massive emergency response.
The blaze grew to about 15 acres as aerial crews conducted drops on the blaze, and were able to contain it on the corner of Gilbert Street and Castlewood Drive, the Fullerton Police Department told FOX11.
Fullerton residents in the area of Castlewood and Gilbert were asked to evacuate, but by 10:30 p.m. Wednesday police were allowing residentsto return back to their homes.
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Los Angeles authorities have lifted most evacuations from a wildfire in the citys Brentwood area that destroyed a dozen homes and damaged five others. Fire officials said as of Wednesday evening only a few square blocks to the west of Interstate 405 remain under mandatory evacuation orders.
Some 10,000 people fled after the blaze broke out Monday and eventually charred 1.2 square miles of dry brush.
Meanwhile, about 26,000 people remain evacuated from ranch properties and suburbs as crews try to tame a 2.3-square-mile blaze known as the Easy Fire near Simi Valley northwest of Los Angeles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.B:
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