Winter Weather Advisory issued November 30 at 9:39PM EST until December 01 at 7:00AM EST by NWS Wilmington (details ...)
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST TUESDAY... * WHAT...Snow continuing. Additional snow accumulations of an inch or less with locally higher amounts possible. * WHERE...Portions of East Central and Southeast Indiana, Northern Kentucky and Southwest and West Central Ohio. * WHEN...Until 7 AM EST Tuesday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.
Winter Weather Advisory issued November 30 at 9:39PM EST until December 01 at 7:00AM EST by NWS Wilmington (details ...)
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST TUESDAY... * WHAT...Snow continuing. Additional snow accumulations of an inch or less with locally higher amounts possible. * WHERE...Portions of Southwest and West Central Ohio. * WHEN...Until 7 AM EST Tuesday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.
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Tuesday, October 27th

Wind a risk as California fires keep tens of thousands away

By CHRISTOPHER WEBER and OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ Associated Press

Firefighter Tylor Gilbert puts out hotspots while battling the Silverado Fire, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Crews tried to beat back two out-of-control wildfires in Southern California on Tuesday that have kept tens of thousands of people out of their homes even as another round of dangerous fire weather raises the risk for flames erupting across the state.

Fierce winds that drove twin fires through brushy hills near cities in Orange County a day earlier were expected to pick back up, although not to the earlier extremes, according to the National Weather Service.

Southern California Edison reported to regulators that it was investigating whether its equipment might have sparked the Silverado Fire near the city of Irvine. With utility equipment blamed for several destructive fires in recent years, Edison was among the utilities in California that deliberately cut power to customers to prevent equipment from being knocked down or hit with debris in the winds and sparking wildfires.

Irvine residents had to evacuate after a fire broke out early Monday, while later and a few miles away, another blaze, the Blue Ridge Fire, sent people fleeing from the Yorba Linda area. More than 90,000 people were under evacuation orders.

A man leaves his home during a mandatory fire evacuate as smoke from the Silverado Fire fills the air, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

One home was damaged and crews protected hundreds more as winds pushed flames down ridges toward neighborhoods. There was little containment of the fires.

Forecasts call for Santa Ana winds to keep blowing over much of Southern California, with some of the strongest gusts howling through Orange County, where the major blazes are. The winds were expected to be lighter than a day earlier and die down by nighttime.

The gusts were so strong Monday that they toppled several semitrucks on highways and forced firefighters to ground their aircraft, though they got back up by late afternoon and were expected to fly Tuesday.

Two firefighters, one 26 and the other 31, were critically injured while battling the larger blaze near Irvine, according to the county's Fire Authority, which didn't provide details on how the injuries occurred. They each suffered second- and third-degree burns over large portions of their bodies and were getting help breathing at a hospital, officials said.

A single fire hose crosses artificial grass in the backyard of a house on Hidden Glen Lane after the Green Fire passed by in Yorba Linda, Calif., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 (Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP)

Omar Zaman smelled smoke as he left his Irvine home for work Monday. He spent the day at his office refreshing online news reports about the fire.

"I'm just like, freaking out as I'm reading all of this," he said. Zaman obsessively checked security camera footage from his house, which is in the evacuation zone.

"When I initially looked at it, it was just filled with smoke. I couldn't even see to the other side of the yard," he said.

Southern California Edison cut power to about 38,000 homes and businesses, although it restored some power by Monday night.

In Northern California, easing winds allowed Pacific Gas & Electric to begin restoring power after the largest of five safety shutoffs this year.

A vehicle drives up Mountain Blvd. in the Montclair neighborhood after the power has been shut off due to high winds in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)/Bay Area News Group via AP)

At its peak, PG&E cut power to about 345,000 customers - an estimated 1 million people - in 34 counties. The nation's largest utility said it has restored power to more than 156,000 customers. Electricity is expected to come back at the remaining homes and buildings by Tuesday night after crews do inspections to make repairs and ensure equipment is safe.

A dozen reports of damage had been received, PG&E said.

Nearly two dozen wildfires were reported in Northern California on Sunday night and Monday but all were rapidly contained without serious damage.

The threat, however, was far from over in many parts of PG&E's vast service area. A red-flag warning of extreme fire danger was in place Tuesday in the Santa Cruz Mountains near the San Francisco Bay Area and some coastal and valley areas, with warnings extending into Tuesday evening for some higher elevations in the Bay Area.

"Bone-dry" humidity could dry out vegetation, which can contribute to "catastrophic" fires, PG&E meteorology chief Scott Strenfel said.

"The conditions are very, very unsafe," said Mark Quinlan, the utility's incident commander.

However, once the winds ease, the weather should remain calm through the weekend, Quinlan said.

Scientists have said climate change has made California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable. October and November are traditionally the worst months for fires, but already this year 8,600 wildfires in the state have scorched a record 6,400 square miles (16,600 square kilometers) and destroyed about 9,200 homes, businesses and other buildings. There have been 31 deaths.

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Rodriguez reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles and Amy Taxin in Orange County contributed to this report.

A house on Hidden Glen Lane is enveloped in smoke as the Green Fire passes by in Yorba Linda, Calif., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. The house was spared by the fire. (Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP)

Firefighters with Cal Fire are enveloped in smoke as fire from the Green Fire passes by near homes on Hidden Glen Lane and Hidden Hills Road in Yorba Linda, Calif., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP)

Gusting winds carry smoke from the Silverado Fire into residential areas Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Firefighter Tylor Gilbert puts out hotspots while battling the Silverado Fire, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Firefighters with Cal Fire are enveloped in smoke as fire from the Green Fire passes by near homes on Hidden Glen Lane and Hidden Hills Road in Yorba Linda, Calif., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP)

Smoke from the Green Fire fills the skies after the fire passes by homes on Hidden Hills Road in Yorba Linda, Calif., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 (Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP)

Firefighter Tylor Gilbert puts out hotspots while battling the Silverado Fire, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Smoke from the Silverado Fire fills the air along the 241 State Highway Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Firefighter Raymond Vasquez battles the Silverado Fire Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Silverado Fire burns along the 241 State Highway Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Silverado Fire burns along the 241 State Highway Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Len Brongo struggles with smoke from the Silverado Fire Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Crews battle the Silverado Fire along The 133 Freeway near Irvine Boulevard in Irvine, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP)

Crews battle the Silverado Fire along The 133 Freeway near Irvine Boulevard in Irvine, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP)

Banners advertising new homes are seen behind smoke from a grass fire as the Silverado Fire threatens residential areas Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A huge plume of smoke generated by the Silverado Fire rises behind homes Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A firefighter puts out hotspots while battling the Silverado Fire, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. The fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A firefighter prepares to put out hotspots while battling the Silverado Fire, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. The fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A firefighter watches flames from the Silverado Fire, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Silverado Fire burns Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

An SUV is parked in the evacuated residential area filled with heavy smoke from the Silverado Fire Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Police and firefighters are out in full force on Jeffrey and Portola in Irvine, Calif., where smoke fills the sky from the wind-driven Silverado wildfire on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP)

In this image from video provided by KNBC-TV, smoke and flames from the Silverado fire threatens areas near Irvine, Calif., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. The fast-moving wildfire has forced evacuations for 60,000 people in Southern California as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (KNBC-TV via AP

In this view from Newport Boulevard in North Tustin, the morning sun rises through the smoke of fire in the canyons east of North Tustin on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Firefighters were aggressively battling a vegetation fire that broke out in the hills near Silverado in Orange County as strong wind gusts pushed it. (Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register via AP)

FILE - In this July 18, 2020 file photo, patrons eat at a table set up on a sidewalk in Burbank, Calif. California's financially battered restaurants filed government claims Monday to recover more than $100 million in fees for liquor and health permits and tourism charges that they say were assessed even though their businesses were shuttered or only partially operating under long-running coronavirus orders. Few industries have been hit as hard during the pandemic as restaurants. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

One light is all that is on at the local Starbucks on Mountain Blvd in the Montclair neighborhood after the power has been shut off due to high winds in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)

A firefighter braves gusty winds as heavy smoke from the Silverado Fire fills the air, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A firefighter battles the Silverado Fire Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A helicopter drops retardant on the Silverado wildfire off Santiago Canyon Road where fierce winds have cause problems on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. (Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP)

A firefighter extinguishes hotspots while battling the Olinda Fire in Anderson, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. The blaze was one of four fires burning near Redding that firefighters scrambled to stop as high winds buffeted Northern California. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)