LOS ANGELES – Fierce Santa Ana wind battered Southern California for a third day Tuesday, pushing a wildfire and leaving thousands without power.
A wildfire driven by wind blowing steadily at about 30 mph had burned some 400 acres of brush near Highland, in the foothills of the San Bernardino National Forest 65 miles east of Los Angeles.
About 300 firefighters battled the blaze, which was 10 percent contained late Monday, said Melody Lardner, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service. It was miles from homes, she said, but fire officials urged a voluntary evacuation for parts of the mountain hamlet of Running Springs as a precaution.
Several thousand Southern California Edison customers remained without power Tuesday morning because of the wind, the company said.
The northeasterly wind developed Sunday and gusted to as high as 70 mph, the National Weather Service said.
It hampered firefighters throughout the region as small fires mushroomed. On Monday, fire destroyed one home and damaged five others in Tujunga, in northeast Los Angeles, and a blaze in suburban La Canada Flintridge forced the evacuation of 15 homes before it was contained. Other fires damaged a home in Upland and destroyed eight cars in Garden Grove.
About 100 Southern California Edison lines went down in the wind Sunday and Monday and some 62,000 customers lost power, Edison spokesman Steve Conroy said.
Elsewhere, the damage included a freeway billboard blown down in the middle of traffic and six tractor-trailer rigs overturned on highways.