Hot, dry Santa Ana winds caused southern California wildfires in San Diego County and Orange County this weekend, in what the National Weather Service is calling the “most significant fire weather threat in the past five years.”
A fire at Camp Pendleton, a major Marine Corps base north of San Diego, caused 230 residents to evacuate their homes in a housing unit, the Associated Press reports. The base’s hospital suffered a power outage, leading to the evacuation of 30 patients. By late Sunday night, the 2,500-acre fire was nearly one-fourth contained.
Another fire further north in Orange County broke out at a plant nursery, causing 23 area residents to evacuate, and smoke from a small fire blanketed a key interchange in northern Los Angeles County, bringing traffic to a halt for 90 minutes. Southern California is currently in peak wildfire season, where hot, dry conditions are exacerbated by Santa Ana winds, which include gusts of nearly 100 mph.