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Strong winds to hinder California firefighting efforts into next week

Staff Writer |
Fire crews will face difficult weather conditions for battling wildfires in California as dry and windy conditions persist and heat builds into next week.

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More than 20 active fires have charred over 190,000 acres in California, according to Calfire. Fire crews have been called upon from other states to help battle the blazes.

The wildfires have taken the lives of at least 31 people and have left tens of thousands homeless.

“Gusty winds, low humidity, and dry [vegetation] will lead to favorable fire conditions into early next week,” AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido said.

The gustiest winds will likely occur between Friday night and Sunday across Northern and Southern California.

An area of high pressure will strengthen over the Great Basin, initiating the blustery conditions.

“Winds to 15-30 mph will be enough to rapidly spread any fires that develop and those that are ongoing,” Vido said. “Gusts between 35-50 mph will be possible at higher elevations.”

Isolated gusts could reach 60 mph, possibly leading to sporadic power outages and tree damage. Blowing dust will also be a concern in the deserts.

Due to the risk of rapid wildfire spread, residents should have all necessary items, such as important documents and medications, in a bag or container near the door that can be taken in a hurry if an evacuation is issued.

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