What’s Behind Early Season Winds Fueling Southern California Wildfires?
It’s not clear if this week’s fires are tied to climate change.
Having the Santa Ana winds howl into San Diego in May, fueling wildfires that this week scorched more than 15 square miles of land and forced thousands to evacuate their homes, is unusual enough.
Typically, the Santa Ana winds—hot, dry gusts that turn small blazes, often cause by humans, into neighborhood-charring infernos—don't arrive in Southern California until September or October. (Pictures: San Diego Wildfires)
But even stranger is that this is the second time this month that the Santa Anas have blown into the Golden State. The first time it happened, at the beginning of the month, the winds helped drive a fire in Rancho Cucamonga to burn more than 2,000 acres.