Wildfires continue to rage in the West, severe storms expected in Plains
At least 22 large uncontained wildfires are burning in the West this morning, not including smaller fires that erupted in southern California yesterday.
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Wildfires that began yesterday late afternoon just north of Santa Barbara, California closed roads and prompted evacuations. Most evacuations, however, were lifted last night as of 8 p.m. according to the Santa Barbara Fire Department.
Several wildfires are also burning in northern California where the biggest fire, known as the Walker Fire, is now more than 44,000 acres. Mandatory evacuations continue to be in effect.
More wildfires could hit the Western U.S. today due to drier than average conditions.
Sundowner winds also continued last night in the Santa Barbara area and parts of southern California with gusts as high as 30 to 50 mph.
Slightly lighter winds are expected today but gusts of 20 to 30 mph are possible from Redding all the way down to Palm Springs.
Dry lightning storms could also potentially start some fires in the drier regions of northern California today.
Meanwhile, severe storms are set to continue in the Plains. There were 90 damaging storm reports yesterday around the country including 3 reported tornadoes in South Dakota.
Strong winds, hail, and possible tornadoes could hit South Dakota and Nebraska.
Most of the severe storms from yesterday were in Iowa and along the Gulf Coast states where the damage that was done in those areas mostly caused with winds of up to 60 mph.
Today a new storm system looks like it will move into the Plains and will bring a chance of damaging winds, hail, and a few tornadoes in South Dakota and Nebraska.