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Wildfire watch: Santa Ana winds put Southern California on alert

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Southern California on alert for fires

The winds notorious for fueling Southern California wildfires were expected to kick up for the first time this year on Sunday night, putting the region on alert, according to the National Weather Service.

The season's first major Santa Ana winds may reach gusts of up to 75 mph in the region's mountains, creating critical fire weather conditions through Tuesday night.

Last year, the winds drove the Thomas Fire, which destroyed more than 280,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. and took more than a month to contain. Before the Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California surpassed it this summer, the Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in the state's modern history.


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