(CNN)–Hundreds of firefighters are working around the clock to battle fast-moving wildfires in Southern California as fears grow that winds might make matters worse on Thursday.
Winds are expected to pick up — with gusts up to 80 mph — and likely fuel wildfires that have engulfed numerous hillsides in flames, quickly incinerated neighborhoods and prompted the evacuation of more than 110,000 people.
“We stand a fairly good chance of a very challenging night and day (Thursday),” said Tim Chavez, a fire behavior analyst for CalFire, at a news conference on the 90,000-acre Thomas Fire in Ventura County. “There’s a lot of potential for some large fire growth (for this fire).”
Overworked firefighters caught a break Wednesday when the winds eased but on Thursday, officials say they will see a “recipe for explosive fire growth” of high winds, a super dry humidity of less than 10% and a fire danger of 296 — the highest it has ever been.
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