No emergency outages after Santa Ana winds prompted Southern California fire danger warnings Wednesday
This article is being corrected to show the date being changed from Jan. 12 to Jan. 12 to clarify that the power was restored to most of Santa Rosa on Jan. 12.
SANTA ANA, Calif. — The winds that knocked out power in parts of Southern California on Sunday night and Monday morning are expected to die down Wednesday, but a dry Santa Ana winds remain in place and are expected to increase across the region on Thursday. The fire danger remains elevated and fire officials are urging residents to remain vigilant and monitor the web for updates on power outages and other fire issues.
“Our concern is not so much of our power but the continued fire threat,” said San Bernardino County Fire Chief Brian Harris. “What if the wind picks up again into the fire area or what if the winds pick up even a mile or more north? We can’t stop a wildfire.”
Harris said the fire threat is not as high as in previous years, when power outages did not cause major issues for residents. “There’s some fuel that they haven’t quite burned, so there’s still a lot that’s flammable and therefore a lot of fire danger,” he said.
Harris said the next stage in the evacuation order will be released Thursday, and the order was posted Wednesday morning. It includes orders from all the communities directly impacted, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, which in total account for nearly half the state’s population.
As of Tuesday night, the number of evacuations were up to 26 in Chico, 12 in Salinas and 11 in Santa Barbara.
Harris said one other potential issue in Southern California on Thursday is the water supply if the rain continues.
“If we get a deluge, there is a significant risk in those areas where they may not have water,” he said.
Another concern for residents in the path of the fire is smoke from the inferno.
Fire officials said Tuesday that Southern California has experienced the deadliest wildfire season on record.
“We’ve lost four of our children, my wife, my mother-in-law,” said Richard Nitzinger, whose wife, daughter, grandchildren and