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50-mph wind gusts sweep into Southern California [Updated]

October 27, 2009 |  5:28 pm

Wind gusts topping 50 mph swept into Southern California and Los Angeles this afternoon, bringing concerns about possible fires and power outages.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy gusts hit Malibu, Van Nuys, Lancaster and other areas earlier this afternoon.

Warnings were issued to boaters, and firefighters were placed on alert that the winds bring new fire dangers. There was a small fire this afternoon in the Sepulveda Pass that firefighters quickly contained.

The winds were also fierce in Northern California and picked up dust in the Central Valley. Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said it appeared “almost smoke-like.”

[Updated at 5:30 p.m.: There were scattered reports of brownouts and blackouts in some neighborhoods of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys because of downed power lines.

In areas burned in the recent Station fire, the wind blew up large amounts of dust and debris.]

-- Shelby Grad