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Santa Ana winds to raise Southern California fire danger

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gusty and dry Santa Ana winds will bring increased risk of wildfires to Southern California and possible public safety power shutoffs to nearly 141,000 utility customers through the Thanksgiving period.

Red flag warnings for fire danger will be in effect from Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon, and weather will remain very warm and dry through the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

Wind gusts are expected to range from 30 mph to 50 mph (48-80 kph), with isolated gusts to 60 mph (96 kph), forecasters said. Relative humidity levels may drop as low as 2%.

Public safety power shutoffs are intended to prevent wildfires from being ignited and spread if gusts damage power equipment or blow debris into power lines.

Southern California Edison said it was considering cutting power to 97,705 customers in high-risk areas of Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

San Diego Gas & Electric was considering shutting off electricity to 43,276 customers.

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