Warm winter weather and powerful winds have led to an early start for 2021’s fires, following a record-breaking year of blazes in 2020

Unusually warm and dry conditions coupled with powerful wind gusts have ignited a spate of winter wildfires that call into question the idea that California has a “fire season” at all anymore.

Residents of several communities in the Santa Cruz mountains were ordered to evacuate by the local sheriff’s office Tuesday morning as California’s fire agency (Cal Fire) responded to at least 10 new vegetation fires across the area. Some of the fires were ignited when power lines were toppled by high winds; others were wind-driven reignitions of areas that burned in 2020, Cal Fire said.

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