104-mph gusts recorded as Santa Ana winds wreak havoc across Southern California
It began to rain as hard as it had in the previous few days, as temperatures soared into the mid-90s, sending a river of moisture across the Valley on Thursday.
The National Weather Service’s San Diego weather office tweeted, “This is one day we will all remember.”
A day after the worst wildfire season in California and years with more record-breaking wind chills, the winds in the region were still ferocious through the evening — as high as 85 degrees.
More than 1,500 firefighters were battling the blaze in the Wine Country resort of Ojai — the deadliest and most destructive of them all.
At the height of the fire, it burned through nearly 1,000 acres of the community’s 1,400-acre resort.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties on Thursday as firefighters continued to battle the flames.
The massive blaze was one of the deadliest and most destructive of the year in California, killing 22 people, injuring dozens and destroying more than 4,000 homes.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said the death toll could rise as more bodies are discovered.
“The winds have changed their tune,” he said. “We’ve been dealing with winds that have been quite strong.”
One California Highway Patrol officer said the fire has displaced nearly 20,000 people.
The Camp Fire has burned nearly 5 square miles. But in some places, the fires are shrinking because residents are being ordered to evacuate their homes.
“The residents have been given the ultimate option: evacuate or stay and die,” Dean said.
As the fires continue to burn, officials have ordered about 5,000 people as of Thursday night to evacuate to shelters in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and other cities along Interstate