Wind respite may help Southern California wildfire fight

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters hope a narrow window of calm will give them a chance to block Southern California wildfires that are marching on a path of destruction toward the sea.

Winds that drove the flames through bone-dry hills and canyons north and west of downtown Los Angeles are expected to die down Saturday. But forecasters expect them to build up again Sunday, reaching 35 mph or higher.

Officials say the respite may give firefighters a chance to attack the edges of two fires that in just two days have destroyed more than 150 homes and prompted evacuation orders for more than a quarter-million residents.

The fires that erupted Thursday hit especially hard in Thousand Oaks, the Ventura County town still reeling from a deadly attack this week on a local bar that left a dozen people and the gunman dead. Even as residents grieve, the mayor says most of the town has emptied.

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