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Here’s what we know about the wildfire burning in Los Angeles County and evacuations

Andrew Cuomo

The Palisades Fire has prompted ongoing evacuation orders and warnings in a zone about 20 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

It’s charred more than 1,320 acres since it was reported Friday and is still 0% contained, Los Angeles County fire officials said Sunday.

California has been in a massive drought for weeks, and experts worry it will only get drier and hotter, creating the potential for another devastating wildfire season.

Here’s what we know so far about the Palisades Fire:

People have been told to leave their homes

Mandatory evacuations were ordered over the weekend for residents east of Topanga Canyon between the Community House and View Ridge, as well as everyone north of Entrada, south of Oakwood and east of Henry Ridge, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said on Twitter.

About 1,000 people had been evacuated from their homes by Sunday morning, Los Angeles City Fire spokesperson David Ortiz said. And on Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Fire Department issued an evacuation warning for additional homes, urging residents to be on standby.

“Gather your valuables, medicines etc and load them into your car so you are ready if asked to evacuate,” the department said.

This area hasn’t burned in decades

Roughly 300 firefighters battled the blaze over the weekend, working to keep the flames out of an area that hasn’t burned in more than 50 years, Ortiz said.

“There’s a lot of dense, thick material there, oily plants that have dried out because of the drought,” Ortiz said Sunday. “So, that’s our objective today: to try to keep it out of that and protect the communities and neighborhoods that are to the west of this fire because that’s what’s closest to it.”

Those drought conditions, coupled with the gusty winds the area is expected to see in the coming days, will likely pose some of the biggest challenges in containing the fire.

“Sundowner winds will be ramping up this week, starting tomorrow night, then peaking Tue afternoon-Thu evening with gusts 35-55 mph (strongest Gaviota to San Marcos Pass), causing elevated fire weather concerns,” the National Weather Service Los Angeles wrote Sunday on Twitter.

A second person questioned in connection to fire

The Los Angeles Fire Department previously said there was a “suspicious start” to the fire.

The department’s arson investigators are interviewing a suspect who may be connected to the blaze, spokesperson Capt. Erik Scott told CNN.

It’s a different person than another individual who was briefly detained Saturday night and later released, Scott said.

“During the course of the investigation, LAFD Arson Investigators and LAPD have aggressively tracked down any and all potential leads,” the department said in a statement on Sunday. “The active investigation into the cause of the Palisades fire continues.”

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