Ventura fire: Great winds ‘a recipe for explosive fire growth’

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.

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