But never purple wind. Until now.
The color-coded system showing the expected strength of the wild winds driving the region's fierce wildfires has reached uncharted territory.
It has pushed past red, which means "high", into purple, which means "extreme".
READ: California communities under siege from wind-driven fires
State fire Director Ken Pimlott said on Wednesday that purple has never been used before.
He says that means winds could blow at an astonishing 130km/h, a speed reaching hurricane strength.
The three major wildfires burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have already put tens of thousands of people under evacuation orders and destroyed nearly 200 homes and buildings.
Officials fearing things could get far worse issued a rare wind warning late on Tuesday night to millions of cellphones from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
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