Light Winds Aid LA Firefighters

But season for conflagration-fueling winds has just begun
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2008 1:18 PM CDT
In this satellite image, a giant smoke cloud is seen drifting west over the Southern California coastline caused by two huge wildfires driven by strong Santa Ana winds.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Firefighters made progress early today in containing two Los Angeles-area fires, as calm winds prevented the flames from blazing a path to the Pacific Ocean, the Los Angeles Times reports. The older of the two fires, the Marek blaze, was 80% contained, and firefighters have begun to cut containment lines for the second fire, which now covers 13,200 acres.

The Marek fire is expected to be fully contained by tomorrow, forest officials said. While these fires have been relatively controllable, officials warned that this is only the beginning of the Santa Ana wind season: “This was a preview of coming attractions,” said one climatologist. “Now we're in a race with Mother Nature. What comes first? More Santa Anas or rain?”