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Wind and surf hazard expected this weekend

May 28, 2011 |  8:10 pm

Strong winds with gusts up to 60 miles per hour are expected across parts of Southern California Saturday night and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The highest winds will blow through the mountains of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties as well as the Antelope Valley and the south coast of Santa Barbara. Mountain areas in Los Angeles County also will also be affected, although the winds will not be as strong in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Gusting winds could cause hazardous driving conditions on Interstate 5 in the Angeles National Forest and on Highway 14.

Fire hazards increase during windy conditions, and firefighters were managing two blazes this weekend so far. Gusts of 30 miles per hour contributed to the rapid spread of a blaze in Kern County's Lake Isabella area Friday; officials have since said that fire is no longer threatening homes. A brush fire in Lancaster torched about 100 acres Saturday afternoon, according to news reports; no structures were threatened.

The high winds also are contributing to “potentially hazardous surf and very strong rip currents,” especially on west-facing beaches, that are expected to last through Sunday, a National Weather Service bulletin said. High surf conditions were anticipated from Ventura Harbor to Point Dume and possibly Santa Monica to the South Bay on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

In downtown Los Angeles, Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 69 degrees. Winds will be steady between 10 and 15 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 25 miles per hour Sunday night.

-- Howard Blume