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Gusty Santa Ana winds blow across Southern California, raising fire danger


LOS ANGELES — The first Santa Ana winds of the season blew into Southern California on Friday, raising temperatures and the chances of fire danger across the region, but causing no serious damage.

In Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, where gusts reached 50 miles per hour, a parkway tree toppled onto two cars, including one being driven down an adjacent street. The driver was unhurt, but both her car and a parked vehicle were damaged.

In California's Inland Empire, the Redlands Daily Facts newspaper reported strong winds blew two trees onto a Redlands apartment building, prompting the evacuation of eight units. The winds also scattered Halloween decorations across front yards in several communities.

Wind gusts of more than 60 mph were recorded in the mountains of Ventura County, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service. Gusts of more than 50 mph were recorded at Leo Carrillo State Beach near Malibu.

The strong winds, coupled with dry conditions that caused humidity to fall to the low teens, prompted the Weather Service to issue red flag warnings for fire danger for the mountains and hillsides of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

A wind advisory was issued for a wider area, including the passes and canyons of Riverside and San Bernardino counties as well as Orange County.

Temperatures were unseasonably high for much of the region, but not at record levels, said Seto. They ranged from the low 80s in the normally cooler coastal areas to the high 80s in inland valleys.

The Santa Ana condition was expected to weaken overnight, with lighter winds Saturday. The weather was expected to remain warm and dry, however, into Halloween night.

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