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Gusty winds blow into the start of holiday weekend
Gusty winds return to Calif. and blow into the start of the holiday weekend
By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) ' Gusty Santa Ana winds are expected to through Friday morning across Southern California into the start of the holiday weekend.

The National Weather Service said the winds, generated by a strong high-pressure system would continue but no "red flag" warnings for fire danger are forecast.

A small brush fire was reported Thursday as well as some power outages, toppled trucks and downed trees but nothing close to the widespread damage the region suffered during a hurricane-force windstorm in November.

The brush fire was reported in a rural foothill canyon area near the small city of Santa Paula, 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles, said Ventura County fire Capt. Ron Oatman. The blaze spread across 10 acres but was not threatening any homes and was 50 percent contained by Thursday evening.

Gusts of more than 70 mph were recorded at Warm Springs and Chilao in the Angeles National Forest.

About 1,440 Southern California Edison customers lost power Thursday afternoon because of the wind. The hardest hit areas were Garden Grove, Stanton and San Bernardino.

Weather was also blustery in other parts of California.

A large fire pushed by strong wind gusts engulfed three buildings near San Francisco's historic Alamo Square, injuring two firefighters and one other person.

Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph were reported in some areas of the Sierra Nevada, where they pushed two unusual winter wildfires.

During a Nov. 30 Southern California windstorm with gusts approaching 100 mph, trees were toppled, power poles and traffic light standards snapped, homes and cars were damaged, and electricity was cut to nearly 650,000 homes and business.

Most of that damage occurred east of Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley. No injuries were reported amid the blizzard of flying debris, but some homes lost power for a week, triggering complaints against utilities.

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