Southern California has felt yellow wind, orange wind and red wind. But never purple wind.
The color-coded system showing the expected strength of the wild winds driving the region’s fierce wildfires has reached uncharted territory. It has pushed past red, which means “high,” into purple, which means “extreme.”
State fire Director Ken Pimlott said Wednesday that purple has never been used here before.
He says that means winds could blow at 80 mph, a speed reaching hurricane strength.
The three major wildfires burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have already put tens of thousands of people under evacuation orders and destroyed nearly 200 homes and buildings.
Officials issued a rare wind warning late Tuesday night to millions of cellphones from San Diego to Santa Barbara.