Ferocious winds in southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire that prompted evacuation orders for nearly 8,000 homes. The blaze broke out and grew wildly to more than 124 sq. kilometres in the hours that followed, consuming vegetation that hasn’t burned in decades. At least 150 structures have burned so far. There was no immediate word whether the structures were homes or businesses. More than 27,000 people have been evacuated and one firefighter was injured. There was no word on the extent of the injuries.
Meanwhile, the first big snowstorm of the season created dangerous travel conditions in the Upper Midwest that caused scores of highway crashes, including one that killed an elderly woman in Minnesota. As temperatures dropped, rain turned to ice and snow and made roadways extremely slippery. The Minnesota Department of Transportation was advising no travel from Redwood Falls to Hutchinson and Glencoe because of blowing snow and whiteout conditions.