Strong Santa Ana winds pushed “drift smoke” from the Arlanza Fire in Riverside County into South Orange County on Sunday, Nov. 21, with haze and a noticeable smoke smell across several Orange County cities including Irvine, and Tustin and Anaheim Hills.
Smoke will continue to be a challenge throughout the night at firefighters work to mop-up mulch on the Arlanza incident. pic.twitter.com/sEAMrNTYlI
— City of Riverside Fire Department (@rivcafire) November 21, 2021
By late afternoon Sunday, the Riverside County Fire Department reported the Arlanza Fire had grown to at least 20 acres and was being handled by multiple agencies including the California Fire Authority.
With multiple reports of drift smoke reported on social media, the Irvine-based Orange County Fire Authority addressed the situation on Twitter.
If you smell drift smoke in Orange County, it is from the Lanza Fire in Riverside County. You can find more info here: https://t.co/ZqbImFHFWW. There is no threat to Orange County.
— OCFA PIO (@OCFireAuthority) November 21, 2021
OCFA added that while the smell of drift smoke was noticeable in some areas, it was not a threat to public safety in Orange County.
While there were no fires reported in Orange County this weekend, on Sunday, there were dozens of OC Fire Watch volunteers preparing for a potential event under Red Flag conditions.
“Our fire watch preparation never ends, and we are as prepared today as we have ever been,” said Tony Pointer, Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Fire Watch Manager. “Our 300 selfless volunteers are getting ready to take action as we speak… and it makes a difference in reducing our risk of wildfire. We can help protect our communities through deterrence, quick reporting and communication.”
Currently, the National Weather Service has a Red Flag Warning in effect for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, which remains in effect until 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22.
Per the Red Flag Warning, there is currently a Fire Weather Watch for gusty northeast winds and low relative humidity. In terms of wind, the National Weather Service indicated that the Santa Ana winds will peak Monday, with gusts expected between 35-55 mph can be expected in the mountains and foothill regions of those areas.