California fire weather less dire than predicted - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

California fire weather less dire than predicted

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern Californians already dealing with destructive wildfires were warned of extreme fire potential early Thursday, but conditions turned out to be less dire than predicted.

The head of the state Forestry and Fire Protection department said Wednesday that a color-coded danger scale had reached the unprecedented level of purple. Later, state emergency services sent a regionwide alert to mobile phones, warning of strong overnight winds and extreme fire danger.

The purple designation is part of the "Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index" to categorize the winds according to fire potential.

The index uses a predictive model that incorporates moisture levels of dead and live vegetation and weather models to produce a forecast for potentially large fires. The result is then compared to climate and fire records to create the rating.

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