LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Strong winds wreaked havoc on parts of Southern California on Monday, fanning wildfires, knocking out power and forcing highway officials to post warnings for Christmas Day travelers.
Gusts up to 70 mph made it difficult for Ventura County firefighters to battle a blaze that had grown to about 370 acres by evening in a remote, mountainous region between Santa Paula and Camarillo.
Firefighters hoped to have the blaze, caused by a downed power line, surrounded by Tuesday, said Ventura County Fire Department spokeswoman Sandi Wells.
Winds fanned another fire in a rocky area of northern Los Angeles County that burned 65 acres in about 90 minutes and forced the closure of the Antelope Valley Freeway, said Brian Jordan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Officials were investigating the cause of the blaze.
Winds of up to 50 mph in Orange County toppled power poles, cutting electricity to about 25,000 customers. Power had been restored to all but 200 customers by Monday night.
High winds were also forecast for Tuesday, and breezy conditions were expected through Thursday, said meteorologist Stuart Seto.
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