Thousands without power on Christmas Eve as gusty winds bring dangerous fire conditions to SoCal

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Thousands of Southern California Edison customers were without power Thursday morning amid the return of gusty Santa Ana winds and dangerous fire conditions.

The utility company is hoping to limit the possibility of its equipment sparking a brush fire during periods of heavy wind and dry conditions by implementing the Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

As of 7:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 18,000 SCE customers were without power, according to its website.

SCE is considering power outages for another 155,000 customers in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and surrounding counties, according to the website.

The outages come as gusty winds returned to much of the region Wednesday night.

A red flag warning is in place until noon Thursday for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, according to the National Weather Service.

Peak wind speeds were forecast to reach between 40 and 60 mph, but are expected to diminish Thursday afternoon.

Red flag warnings in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties are also set to expire at noon.

Sunny skies and comfortable conditions are expected to return for Christmas Day.

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