(.. from wider NPR article: ..)

Hurricane-Force Winds

Malibu is one of several towns and cities ravaged by the wildfires. Those fires have been fanned by a set of Santa Ana winds that is among the most ferocious since the government started keeping records in the 1930s.

"It's probably up there in the top five, as far as wind speeds go," says Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

He says one monitoring point, just above the Point Mugu Air Station, measured winds traveling 111 mph. Winds at another point reached 108 mph. That is the speed of winds in a Category 2 hurricane.

"Not every place felt that, obviously, but many areas did see winds of 40 to 60 mph, and that's like a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane," Boldt said.

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