USFS southern California fire chief speculates about fall fire season

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Rocky W. Oplinger, the Fire Management Officer, or Fire Chief, for the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California was interviewed by the Rim of the World News about the outlook for the fall fire season in that part of the world. Much of the conversation focused on the annual Santa Ana winds.

When I worked in that area there were three possible legends about the origin of the name for those strong east or northeast winds that cause such problems for firefighters in the late summer and early fall:

  1. The winds were strongest in Santa Ana Canyon, or,
  2. The dust stirred up by the winds was similar to the dust clouds caused by the army of the Mexican General Santa Ana as they marched or road across the landscape, or
  3. Sometimes spelled “Santana”, it comes from the Spanish Satanás winds, from the Spanish vientos de Satán (“winds of Satan”), or Devil Winds.
Thanks Ken

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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