Southern California winds knock out power, fan fires |

Southern California winds knock out power, fan fires

LOS ANGELES – Fierce Santa Ana winds whipping through Southern California on Monday fanned brush and house fires, knocked out power to 77,000 utility customers and littered roads with palm fronds and trash cans.The dry wind, gusting near 70 mph in some places, roared out of the desert and down mountain passes and canyons to the coast, sending firefighters chasing outbreaks and toppling big rigs on highways.One fire destroyed a home and damaged five others in the Tujunga section, and a blaze in suburban La Canada Flintridge forced evacuation of 15 homes before it was contained.By Monday night, a wildfire pushed by 30 mph wind spread over about 100 acres of brush near Highland, in the foothills of the San Bernardino National Forest east of Los Angeles, a Forest Services spokeswoman said. The blaze did not immediately threaten any structures.Most of the power outages were in San Gabriel Valley foothills and communities farther east.The La Canada Flintridge blaze was ignited by a fallen power line. Authorities were investigating whether the Tujunga fire had the same cause.In Santa Ana, a freeway billboard blew over, broke a power pole in half and smashed a pair of RVs. A huge oak tree fell on a house in Pasadena, and winds hampered firefighters battling a blaze that burned eight cars in Garden Grove.Six tractor-trailers and one box truck were blown over on Interstate 15 and its transition roads with I-210 and I-10, the California Highway Patrol said. Another toppled rig blocked the truck lane on I-5 north of Los Angeles. No injuries were reported in the wrecks.Vail, Colorado

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