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California firefighters send 40 air tankers to fight fires in the state’s mountain communities

California firefighters send 40 air tankers to fight fires in the state’s mountain communities

No emergency outages after Santa Ana winds prompted Southern California fire danger warnings on Friday

This article is more than 2 years old

This article is more than 2 years old

California firefighters sent up 10 big air tankers with retardant to fight fires as the state endured its hottest day in decades.

The National Weather Service in San Diego, where the air tankers were prepared to be launched, issued warnings this high in the region of the state’s infamous “fire weather”.

With temperatures forecast to hit into the high 90s on Saturday, the 10 tankers set to be deployed by the end of the day could be in action for a few hours on the front lines over the coming days and weeks.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is already sending in another 40 air tankers prepared to respond to fires in the state’s mountain communities. The state is bracing for high winds and could face severe fire conditions throughout the week.

The fire has burned about 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of land in the Malibu neighbourhood of the city of Santa Barbara and is threatening other areas in the California coastal mountain communities.

Santa Barbara County fire officials said the fire was still only 20% contained after the day’s hottest day and strongest winds of the year combined in the rugged hills and canyons.

“We have been through fires before, but never anything like this,” said Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Brian Rice.

‘Extreme heat’

On Friday, the sun set at a scorching 108F (43C), breaking records in Los Angeles and forcing residents to seek shelter. Temperatures in the Los Angeles Basin reached 108F on Friday and that evening a record reading of 108F was also recorded in the Riverside-San Bernardino suburbs east of Los Angeles.

Temperatures on Friday in the San Fernando Valley, a high-altitude, sprawling area of Los Angeles, hit 117F. It is the highest temperature recorded in

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