Story highlights Winds could help intensify fires on Thursday
Fire prompts mandatory evacuations in Ojai Valley
(CNN) Hundreds of firefighters are performing around the clock to fight fast-moving wildfires on Southern California as fears grow that winds might get matters worse on Thursday.
Winds are expected to pick up — with gusts up to 64mph — and likely fuel wildfires which have engulfed numerous hillsides in flames, quickly incinerated neighborhoods and prompted the evacuation of more than 110,000 people.
“We stand a reasonably good chance of a very challenging night and day (Thursday),” said Tim Chavez, a fire tendencies analyst for CalFire, at a good news conference on the 90,000-acre Thomas Fire in Ventura County. “There’s a lot of potential for some large fire growth (for this fire).”
Overworked firefighters trapped a break Wednesday when the winds eased but over Thursday, officials say they’ll visit a “recipe for explosive fire growth” of substantial winds, a brilliant dry humidity of significantly less than 10% and a fire danger of 296 — the best it provides ever been.