Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa Ana winds reaching category 1 hurricane speeds

Santa Ana winds reaching category 1 hurricane speeds in parts of Orange County today and have reached peaks of 85 mph.

These winds have caused numerous scattered power outages.

A vegetation fire that was believed caused by downed power lines was controlled by crews from Orange County Fire Authority, and the Riverside County Fire Department-Cal Fire. The two-acre brush fire was reported at 8:40 a.m. at the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway at Green River, on the Orange and Riverside County border.

A helicopter and 40 firefighters put out the two-acre vegetation fire this morning at Green River Road south of Highway 91 in Corona, said Riverside County fire Capt. Lori Windsor.

The fire was reported at 8:53 a.m. and was contained by 9:17 a.m., Windsor said.

Wind gusts peaked at 85 mph at 10 this morning in Fremont Canyon, and in Bell Canyon, speeds got up to 46 mph at 7 a.m., according to the Department of Water Resources California Data Exchange Center.

Southern California Edison crews have been working to restore power to more than 112,000 customers system wide who have lost power since midnight today. About 9,000 customers were reported to still be without power as of 11 this morning, including 300 in Los Angeles and Orange counties, an Edison spokesman said. Virtually all of the outages were in the Inland Empire.

Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol officials said the high wind caused a 44-foot boat to break loose, causing minor damage to private docks at the Newbort Harbor Yacht Club at 9:35 this morning. No injuries were reported.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.

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