Sustained winds were gusting to 66 miles per hour at Boney Mountain in Ventura County, according to the National Weather Service. Much of Southern California is also experiencing humidity levels in the teens or even single digits.
Those conditions continued through much of Tuesday, as the fire swept through neighborhoods, destroying hundreds of homes.
The flames have swallowed some 80,000 acres in just over a day since the "Thomas" fire, now the state's largest, broke out, leaving at least one dead in an area about 45 minutes from downtown LA. The fires represented new fronts on a series of wildfires that had been burning mostly in Los Angeles and to the north.
Dozens of schools were closed Wednesday, as was Santa Monica College.
Some of those who fled as flames closed in had time to do little more than run.
Multi-million dollar mansions were destroyed in Los Angeles' Bel Air neighborhood, where many celebrities own homes and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has a $30 million estate, the Moraga Bel Air Winery.
The fire had burned about 50 acres and is quickly spreading, Stewart said.
It had swelled to over 108,000 acres by midnight local time on Thursday, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, which is comprised of nine government agencies, among them the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service and United States Fire Administration. Fears that Edison could be blamed for this week's fires drove shares of its parent company, Edison International, down 13 percent Monday.
And these fires are growing fast.
The exception to the evacuation order was the Bel Air Crest housing development, which was not threatened, Garcetti said.
Firefighters were also on the scene of the Rye fire - which had grown to 7,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area - as well as the Creek fire north of downtown Los Angeles that had grown to more than 11,000 acres. The horses were trapped in a barn that burned to the ground as the owners were evacuated with no warning. The fire broke out near the 405 Freeway and Mulholland Drive just before 5 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.
Flames from that fire surrounded Ojai, the popular winter retreat that is home to about 8,000 people, on Thursday morning, officials said. As of early Thursday, firefighters had managed to keep it from breaching containment lines. No injuries were reported.
However, mandatory evacuations in the area have been lifted.