A wildfire burns yesterday in Tijuana. A wildfire burns yesterday in Tijuana.

At least four homes destroyed by Baja California wildfires

Dozens of fires fanned by hot, dry Santa Ana winds

A weather phenomenon known as the Santa Ana winds have fanned the flames of dozens of fires in northern Baja California since Thursday, damaging homes and closing schools.

The weather system brings hot, very dry winds originating in the Great Basin of the southwestern United States to southern California and Baja California in the autumn months, fanning wildfires on both sides of the border.

In the last 48 hours, firefighters have responded to more than 100 fires in Tijuana alone, 19 of them forest fires, and three of them categorized as major.

One of the fires started at 4:40am on Thursday in the Lázaro Cárdenas ejido and spread to a salvage yard where it consumed dozens of vehicles. Another fire started in a factory, which was apparently abandoned.

There are also two forest fires active, one in Tecate and the other in Ensenada, as well as several fires in Playas de Rosarito.

At about 9:40pm, Federal Police decided to close the Tijuana-Ensenada highway due to the fires.

There have been no injuries reported but at least four wooden houses have been destroyed in Tijuana.

Schools have been closed in the municipalities of Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito and Tecate as a precautionary measure.

“Due to the likelihood that there will continue to be incidents of falling objects, cables, electricity lines and billboards, as well as the fires and poor air quality, we have requested the suspension of classes in the municipality,” the Tijuana Civil Protection agency said in a statement.

Source: Debate (sp), El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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