Firefighters trying to contain blazes raging in Southern California won’t get much relief from the weather this weekend, according to Bloomberg News.
Dry and warm Santa Ana winds blowing in from the desert are forecast to gust between 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 kilometers) per hour through Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
Red flag warnings — meaning a heightened risk of wildfires — have been posted for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Sunday, according to the weather service.
'Very volatile situation'
Fires fanned by strong winds have charred hundreds of thousands of acres, burned hundreds of homes, shut major freeways and closed schools throughout Southern California this week. Lower winds on Friday have allowed crews to make progress in containing some of the conflagrations, said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“It’s a very volatile situation,” McLean said in a phone interview. “When you get high winds and low humidity, those things make a big difference in how a fire reacts.”
86,000+ homes at risk near Los Angeles
According to CoreLogic hazard risk analysis, a total of 86,242 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties with a combined reconstruction cost value (RCV) of $27.7 billion are at some level of risk from the Thomas, Rye and Creek Wildfires.
Of the total at-risk homes, 13,526, or 16%, with an estimated RCV of more than $5 billion are at significant risk of damage, falling in the High and Extreme risk categories, according to CoreLogic data. Although the majority of homes, 72,716, or 84%, are at Lowor Moderate risk of damage, wildfire can easily expand to adjacent properties and cause significant damage even if a property is not considered high risk in its own right.
The reconstruction cost values represent estimates to rebuild the home, taking into account geography, labor and materials, and are based on 100%, or total, destruction. Depending on the size of the wildfire, there can easily be less than 100% damage to the home, which would result in a lower realized reconstruction cost. As such, this analysis represents the total and maximum risk from this event, not the predicted loss.
Continue reading for more photos of the Southern California wildfire:
A wildfire burns off of the hills next to CA-126 highway, just northwest of Fillmore, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)
Fire crews search for hot spots among destroyed homes in the Rancho Monserate Country Club community Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Fallbrook, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Flames consume a structure as the Lilac fire burns in Bonsall, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Dick Marsala looks through debris from his destroyed home after a wildfire roared through the Rancho Monserate Country Club Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Bonsall, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Maurice Kaboud makes a phone call after a wildfire threatened his home in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. When firefighters told Kaboud to evacuate, he decided to stay and protect his home. The 59-year-old stood in the backyard of his multimillion- dollar home as the Skirball fire raged nearby. "God willing, this will slow down so the firefighters can do their job," Kaboud said. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
In this video grabbed image released by the San Diego Fire Department Strike Team @SDFD shows a row of homes burning in the Lilac fire in Bonsall, Calif. A brush fire driven by gusty winds that have plagued Southern California all week exploded rapidly Thursday north of San Diego, destroying dozens of trailer homes in a retirement community and killing race horses at an elite training facility. (San Diego Fire Department via AP)
Firefighter Mike Warren, part of a Portland, Ore., crew, battling the Thomas fire, stages in Ojai, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. The biggest and most destructive of the windblown fires raking Southern California shut down one of the region's busiest freeways Thursday and threatened Ojai, a scenic mountain town dubbed "Shangri-La" and known for its boutique hotels and New Age spiritual retreats. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)