On Wednesday morning, the U.S. National Weather Service issued a rare “extreme red flag warning” for wildfires that are rapidly tearing through California. After days of uncontrolled fires burning through the south of the state, fires are expected to worsen on Wednesday as fast-moving Santa Ana winds blast through the region. In response, the Canadian Government has updated its U.S. travel advisories, and they’re now warning travelling Canadians about the California wildfires.

Wildfires have been burning through the U.S. state of California since last weekend, where a tree branch and a downed power line is thought to have started one of the largest fires. Since then, wildfires have burned through an area more than twice the size of San Francisco, and they are believed to have destroyed approximately 60 homes.

Fires have been intensified by the region’s extremely strong winds, and officials are now concerned that Wednesday’s projected winds of up to 70mph (113km/h) will only worsen the situation. In particular, firefighters are worried winds will fan the Getty Fire in Los Angeles, which has already burned through 658 acres.

In response to the alarming, ongoing situation in California, the Government of Canada has updated their U.S. travel advisory, and are now urging Canadians to take extra precautions when visiting the region in the coming days.

The Canadian Government’s travel advisory was updated on Wednesday afternoon, to reflect the ongoing severity of the situation in California.

Their updated advice stated, "Severe wildfires are affecting various areas of California. Air quality is affected and this may have an impact on people suffering from respiratory ailments."

"If you’re travelling to affected areas, follow the instructions of local authorities, including any evacuation orders, monitor local news reports and contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your plans,” it said.

According to California’s authorities, more than 1,100 firefighters are desperately trying to tackle the blaze, and thousands of structures in the region remain at risk. 

Since Tuesday, the Getty Fire has been threatening some of the Southland’s most wealthy neighbourhoods, and some of the country’s biggest stars and celebrities have also been forced to evacuate their homes.

NBA superstar LeBron James was one of the thousands evacuated from his home, taking to Twitter to say, “Man these LA [fires] aren’t no joke. Had to emergency evacuate my house and I’ve been driving around with my family trying to get rooms. No luck so far!”

Full details and information about the Government of Canada’s updated U.S. travel advisory can be found here.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

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