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Calmer Weekend Weather Expected As SoCal Winds Taper Off

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California winds that overturned trucks, toppled trees and fanned fires were dying down Friday and forecasters predicted calmer weather for the Christmas weekend.

The morning was breezy in some areas and calm in others. High wind warnings and advisories for gusts of 65 mph in mountains, valleys and coastal areas were set to expire by early afternoon.

Winds gusting to 70 mph or more on Thursday knocked down power lines, trees and big-rig trucks, although it was nothing close to the widespread damage that the Southland suffered during a hurricane-force windstorm on Nov. 30.

High winds did fan a small rural brushfire in Ventura County. The 45-acre blaze Thursday near Santa Paula burned some avocado trees but no homes were threatened and it was 95 percent contained early Friday, county fire Capt. Ron Oatman said.

One firefighter received a minor leg injury fighting the blaze, and crews Friday were busy snuffing out every last spark because of the continuing concern about wind gusts.

“Until it’s completely mopped up, those embers can still blow,” Oatman said. “We’re going to treat it like it’s mid-summer.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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