Wildfires Engulf Parts of California, Leaving Thousands Without Power and Forcing Hundreds to Evacuate

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Thousands of Southern California residents had their power cut off and hundreds were forced to evacuate as wildfires ravaged through parts of Los Angeles county Thursday morning.

The power was cut by Southern California Edison as well as San Diego Gas and Electric, and more homes may soon find themselves without power in the coming days. Shutting off the power is one way authorities can work to curb the fires, which the Santa Ana winds have caused to spread, authorities said.

Low humidity, bone-dry brush and the winds led to red flag warnings from officials as winds picked up with sustained speeds up to 35 mph and gusts of 50 to 70 mph, the National Weather Service said, creating the perfect storm for fire to spread.

The fires broke out around 11 p.m. Wednesday, CBS Los Angeles. 2020 saw California experience its worst year on record for wildfires, as more than 6,500 square miles have been burned and at least 31 people have been killed and 10,500 homes and other structures damaged or destroyed, CBS News reports.

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