This graphic helps explain what the Santa Ana winds are and how they fuel the fire. We have something similar to Santa Ana winds here in Kansas, only ours is called a "chinook" wind. A chinook wind blows off of the Rocky Mountains, down into Kansas and warms up rapidly as it goes from high elevation to low elevation. Just like the winds in California, the chinook wind is a very dry wind. During the wintertime, temperatures can start out in the 20s and end up in the 70s during the afternoon, often because of this chinook wind.
NASA released this satellite picture Tuesday and we've been showing it on the newscasts from time to time. Several different areas burning and TONS of smoke. Conditions should improve for firefighters as the wind slows down and changes direction. The relative humidity should start coming back up by the end of the week. Our thoughts are definitely with those in southern California.