Southern CA Wildfire Stalls as Santa Ana Winds Ease

Southern California wildfire
This photo provided by CAL FIRE San Diego shows a wildfire in northern San Diego County early Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020. The wildfire triggered evacuation orders early Thursday as Santa Ana winds brought dangerously gusty and dry conditions to Southern California. Evacuation orders were issued for about 7,000 residents on the west side of the community of Fallbrook and for some Camp Pendleton locations, the base and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. (CAL FIRE San Diego via AP)

FALLBROOK, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base in northern San Diego County triggered evacuation orders early Thursday as Santa Ana winds brought gusty and dry conditions to Southern California, forcing utilities to cut power to thousands.

Evacuation orders were issued for about 7,000 residents on the west side of the community of Fallbrook and for some Camp Pendleton locations, the base and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

However, the orders were lifted Thursday night.

The fire grew to nearly 6.7 square miles (17.3 square kilometers) but was 35% contained Thursday night.

The National Weather Service said the Santa Anas, which began blowing Wednesday, were somewhat unusual, peaking shortly after midnight rather than after dawn Thursday.

As the winds weakened and relative humidity levels began recovering, scattered light rain fell around Southern California.

Red flag warnings for critical fire weather were canceled in most of the region except the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

As weather conditions improved, utilities restored power to thousands of customers that were proactively blacked out to prevent fires from being started by wind damage to electrical lines.

Forecasts called for storms in Northern California on Friday and Sunday and some chance of precipitation in Southern California during the weekend.

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