LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California utilities cut the power to tens of thousands of customers to avoid the threat of wildfires as the region found itself whipped by Santa Ana winds that could turn sparks into catastrophes. Red flag warnings of extreme fire danger were in place Thursday throughout much of the region because of low humidity, bone-dry brush and the winds, which sweep down from the interior with sustained winds of up to 35 mph but gusts of 50 mph to 70 mph (112.7 kph) at times, the National Weather Service said. The warnings are in place into Saturday, with the winds at their greatest overnight and in early morning hours, the weather service said. Utilities in the populous region began cutting power Wednesday to customers as a precaution to prevent gusts from blowing tree limbs into electrical equipment or knocking down power lines, which in recent years have sparked devastating wildfires. Southern California Edison cut power to about 15,000 homes and businesses by late Wednesday night and was considering de-energizing lines serving a total of about 271,000 customers in seven counties throughout the windy period, which could last into Saturday. It was one of the utility’s largest… Read full this story
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