Expert compares wind-driven SoCal fires to North Bay fires

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters from across the Bay Area have left for Southern California to help battle the massive, wind-driven wildfires burning in Ventura, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties. The situation hits close to home, as it's reminiscent of the deadly and destructive North Bay fires.

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Associate Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Fire Weather Research Lab at San Jose State University, Craig Clements, said the scenarios are similar in that the fires spread with the help of an off shore wind event.

In Southern California, they're called Santa Ana Winds. In Northern California, it's called Diablo Wind.

While "Santa Anas" are not uncommon in December, the high fire danger is the result of the combination of high winds and dry fuels.

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Southern California should have had some rain by now, which would have increased the fuel moisture level.

Clements said the worst could be yet to come.

More severe Santa Ana winds are predicted for Thursday.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the North Bay fires.
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