California May Briefly Get Relief From Fire Weather on Saturday

(Bloomberg) -- The high winds fanning the flames of wildfires across California may ease up over the weekend, but the dry air that can turn brush and trees into fuel is forecast to stay in place.

Critical fire conditions will persist Saturday in Northern California and elevated risks will cover an even wider area, including southern parts of the state, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Northern California fires have caused five deaths, consumed more than 2,000 buildings, sent thousands fleeing their homes and hurt three firefighters, while, in the south, flames have forced thousands from their homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

“While conditions will not be as severe as the past couple of days across California, the ongoing large wildfire activity and critically dry fuels will still support fire ignition (and) spread,’’ the center said.

A high-pressure system over the Great Basin -- a large area of the West including parts of California, Nevada, Utah and other states -- is expected to relax, allowing winds to die down for a while, forecasters say. But another round of dry, gusty winds is expected by late Sunday and could last until Nov. 13.

With no rain in the forecast and winds expected to increase,“critical fire weather conditions” should return, the agency said.

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