No emergency outages after Santa Ana winds prompted Southern California fire danger warnings
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STANFORD, Calif. — Fire officials issued orange warnings and danger-level red advisories for the Antelope Valley on Saturday afternoon as a large wildfire approached parts of Southern California as the nation’s deadliest fire season begins.
“We’re very concerned with the fire and its growth,” said Mark Thomas, public information officer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
In a video released Sunday, Thomas says a fire that began Thursday in the area of the fire department’s Antelope Valley station eventually grew to more than three square miles and forced the evacuation of more than 200 residents from homes in five communities, including the city of Calexico.
Thomas said there is no threat to the California communities of Lancaster or Lancaster City and that firefighters have fought the fire to protect the most densely populated areas.
Officials say a fire in Phelan Canyon that began on Friday has grown so big that residents have been told to evacuate Friday night.
At a news briefing Saturday night, Thomas said the massive fire is also threatening the communities of Montecito and Ojai, which were evacuated as a precaution. Montecito Mayor Ken Dominguez says they don’t expect to be without power for two days.
“It’s a very dangerous and fast fire,” said Thomas.
Thomas says the fire is so big the entire Antelope Valley Fire Protection District has been assigned additional resources from other parts of the state.
“You’ve got everything from the air tankers from Santa Clara in southern California,” Thomas said.
Tom Hain, spokesman for the Santa Clara Valley Air Pollution Control District, said the fire is so large it needs to be taken care of by multiple fire departments.
Thomas says the fire is burning in dry, windy and rocky terrain that is difficult to contain.
“It’s not just a matter of putting fire retardant on it. It’s