26 Million Californians Under Red Flag Warning As "Remarkable And Dangerous" Santa Ana Approaches

Over 26 million Californians are under red flag warnings as residents of heavily populated Southern California brace for a record-strong Santa Ana wind event slated to begin Tuesday night and last through at least Thursday morning.

The notice comes as fire crews battle at least 11 blazes throughout the state.

In the northern part of the state, a critical wildfire danger exists in the North Bay region where the Kincade Fire is has burned over 75,000 acres and was just 15% contained as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Battling the blaze are over 4,500 fire personnel across 86 crews, 27 helicopters, 549 fire engines, 66 bulldozers and 42 water tankers. 124 structures have been destroyed in the fire.

To the south, the Getty Fire is raging west of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles, forcing wealthy residents seek shelter at a makeshift evacuation center at the Westwood Recreation Center. The 656-acre fire which was sparked when a branch fell on power lines (operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) is just 5% contained.

At least 16 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District are now closed due to fire conditions.

According to CNN and NOAA the current threats include:

A "remarkable and dangerous" Santa Ana winds event in Southern California — perhaps the strongest this season — is expected to bring gusts of 60-70 mph in the valleys and up to 80 mph in the mountains from late Tuesday night into Wednesday, the National Weather

• Strong winds Tuesday afternoon in Northern California, with gusts up to 50 mph, the weather service's Storm Prediction Center says.
 

The worsening conditions come as firefighters across the state battle at least 11 wildfires that have combined to leave thousands of people under evacuation orders.

In western Los Angeles, where the Getty Fire has charred more than 650 acres since Monday, the expected winds mean roughly 20,000 people under evacuation orders there "will not be returning to their homes this evening," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

"Stay away until we lift that order," Garcetti said in a news conference Tuesday morning. -CNN