Strong wind pushes wildfire along California coast

Associated Press

High winds prompt PG&E to shut power to 25,000 in California

Pacific Gas & Electric began shutting off power to about 25,000 customers in central and northern California Monday and Southern California Edison warned it may do the same for up to 9,000 of its customers as high winds toppled trees, downed power lines and ignited fires that forced people to flee from their homes. At least a half dozen mostly small fires broke out across the state, challenging firefighters as they tried to contain the blazes amid the blustering wind. West of Santa Barbara, authorities ordered the mandatory evacuation of campsites, cattle and horse ranches near Refugio State Beach and shut U.S. 101 — the only highway along the coast — as winds pushed a fire that started in the Los Padres National Forest toward the beach, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madsen said.

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