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Motorists on Highway 101 watch flames from the Thomas fire leap above the roadway north of Ventura, Calif., on Wednesday. The fierce Santa Ana winds that have driven massive wildfires in Southern California could get even stronger on Thursday, officials warned, as four fires near Los Angeles had grown to engulf more than 100,000 acres. Forecasters were predicting gusts of up to 80 mph, likely grounding helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft used to drop water on the blazes. "The forecast for tomorrow is purple," Ken Pimlott, director at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said, referring to the only color above red on the wind scale. "We've never used purple before.". A... Full story

7 December