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Southern California winds prompt second fire warning this week

Southern California winds prompt second fire warning this week
Strong winds are returning to Southern California. (Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

Southern California can expect more bluster this weekend as winds pick up, prompting fire officials to remain on alert.

Offshore winds will increase Friday in the valleys and along the coastline of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, the National Weather Service said.

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Gusts may reach as high as 45 mph in those counties, weather officials said. Winds of 10 mph to 20 mph are expected in the canyons and near the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, with possible gusts of 35 mph.

The continued low humidity and increased winds have again combined to create a red flag warning from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, the weather service said. The warning indicates that if fires are sparked, they are likely to spread rapidly and threaten life or property.

The winds will not be nearly as strong as Monday’s gusts, which reached upward of 60 mph in some areas. The gales caused power outages throughout the state and toppled part of a large eucalyptus tree in Tustin, killing a woman.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. conducted preventative power outages in anticipation of potential fire danger and high winds, which reached hurricane strength in places.

Fire agencies have been in constant communication with weather experts, who help them best determine where to send strike teams in case a fire breaks out.

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