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Fire authorities keep eye on strong winds

January 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Santa Ana winds are sweeping across the Southland again, and the dangerous gusts are keeping residents and firefighters on high alert.

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The wind whipped the Malibu Hills on Saturday morning, with gusts reaching up to 68 mph.

Fontana also saw strong winds, with winds reaching speeds of 40 to 50 mph. The city is accustomed to high wind warnings, but the gusts were especially fierce Saturday.

High winds and dry weather increased the fire danger, and residents in La Canada got a scare Friday when a fire erupted after a tree fell and knocked down power lines.

Firefighters were able to put out the brush fire before the strong winds pushed the flames toward homes.

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In Oxnard, a large tree fell on Ventura Road between Hill and Hemlock streets at about 5 a.m. Saturday, blocking all lanes. The road was expected to be closed for 5 to 8 hours as crews cleared the mess.

In Brentwood, a large tree branch fell on a pick-up truck on Sunset Boulevard in the afternoon. One person was injured.

Due to the strong winds, low humidity and dry weather, a red flag warning was in effect through midnight in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, as well as the mountains and valleys. The warning lasted until 6 p.m. in Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Firefighters and officials are asking the public to be vigilant of their surroundings and careful about lighting fires outdoors.

Temperatures will reach 78 in downtown Los Angeles and valleys, 79 in the beaches, 48 in the mountains and 81 for the deserts.

See ABC7 viewer photos of high winds throughout SoCal.