Southern California has been buffeted by dry Santa Ana winds this week, and though a short break is about to begin in many parts of the Southland, those gusts are expected to return this weekend.

The winds on Tuesday and Wednesday toppled vehicles, downed trees and helped damaging fires grow.

That last concern in particular is why the National Weather Service decided to keep its fire weather watch in place through Saturday night, instead of ending one watch and beginning another only hours later.

The red flag warning, however, was lifted Wednesday evening.