Californians struggle with winds, fires, blackouts

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FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2018 file photo Wind-driven flames from a wildfire race up a slope and cross the road in Malibu, Calif. known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed multiple homes. Southern California Edison announced in its quarterly earnings report that its equipment probably caused the November 2018 Woolsey Fire that raged from north of Los Angeles through Malibu to the sea, killing three people and burning more than 1,600 homes and other buildings. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon,File)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) – Californians are facing winds, wildfires and darkness from yet another power outage for more than 1 million people.

Pacific Gas & Electric is blacking out about 1.5 million people in some 30 counties to prevent high winds from toppling power lines and sparking fires. It’s the third shutoff in a week.

A fire in northern wine country and another in the wealthy Brentwood area of Los Angeles have burned dozens of homes. Both were driven by strong winds.

The Sonoma County area was hit by gusts of 30 mph or more Tuesday but firefighters report little growth in the blaze, with winds were expected to ease Wednesday.

But in the south, forecasters say hot, dry Santa Ana winds through Thursday could bring gusts of 50 to 80 mph at times.

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