Increasingly Hot, Dry Autumns Result in California’s ‘Near-Apocalyptic Fires’

For weather experts, autumn in Southern California is “the great race.”

Heavy smoke covers the seaside enclave of Mondos Beach beside the 101 highway as flames reach the coast during the Thomas Fire near Ventura, on Dec. 6, 2017. (Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Heavy smoke covers the seaside enclave of Mondos Beach beside the 101 highway as flames reach the coast during the Thomas Fire near Ventura, on Dec. 6, 2017.
(Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

The severity of the fall fire season is often determined by what arrives first — the fierce Santa Ana winds or the rains.

This year, however, it’s been no contest. Autumn has seen excruciatingly little rain, intensely low humidity, record heat and powerful winds that sparked what is so far the second largest wildfire in modern California history.

“The result are these near-apocalyptic fires that we’re seeing,” climatologist Bill Patzert said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.