When the Charlie fire broke out in Castaic over the weekend, it exploded to 3,000 acres within hours as the flames chewed through dry brush.
But for as fast as the blaze moved, firefighters said it could have been so much worse if the Santa Ana winds had been blowing. Without the winds, firefighters were able to keep the Charlie fire away from homes, and by Tuesday it was 72% contained.
“We could have been there much longer,” said Tony Imbrenda, a captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The luck isn’t expected to last much longer. Southern California is entering its most destructive fire season, as hot winds from the east move in. Santa Ana winds pose a fire danger every year. But 2018 has been particularly brutal because record high temperatures and a lack of rain have left brush ready to burn.
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