Wind Dies Down in SoCal

As gusts slow, firefighters get reprieve, take preventative measures
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 16, 2008 11:54 AM CST
Power lines are threatened as Santa Ana winds move the Sylmar wild fire over the Angeles National Forest into the Newhall Pass, in Newhall, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2008.   (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
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(Newser) – The winds have let up in Southern California,  giving some relief to firefighters battling wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands of residents to flee. Gusts in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles were down to 39mph, much lower than the roughly 80mph winds that fanned the huge wildfire there yesterday, the National Weather Service reports.

The wind has also slowed to 25 mph in Orange and Riverside counties, allowing firefighters there to set backfires to prevent flames from moving into more neighborhoods.