Santa Anas expected to subside by Tuesday evening a day after powerful winds fanned 2 SoCal fires

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Firefighters anticipate better conditions Tuesday after a day of Santa Ana winds rapidly spread two massive wildfires and damaged homes in Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Forecasters recorded wind speeds of up to 84 mph in the the Santa Ana Mountains and the valleys of San Bernardino and Riverside counties on Monday afternoon.

Chino Hills resident Kay Hallmar had a massive tree, believed to be more than 250 years old, fall through her living room.

While her family is OK, the home had to be red-tagged overnight.

“I thought maybe a plane landed in my house,” Hallmar said.

Winds also knocked over a number of big rigs on the freeways.

Gusty winds between 25 to 40 mph were expected to continue Tuesday morning, “mainly along the ridges and the corridor from the Cajon Pass into Orange County,” the National Weather Service said. Some isolated gusts could reach 50 to 55 mph on high ridges and some passes and canyons, according to forecasters.

Winds will then quickly weaken after about 1 p.m., the Weather Service predicted. But conditions remained very dry overnight, and will continue to be later Tuesday.

A red flag warning will be in effect for inland Orange County and the mountains and valleys north of San Diego County, as well as L.A. and Ventura counties, through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“The only area where the [warning] may need to be extended is the San Gabriel Range of Los Angeles County, which will be decided today,” said the NWS in Oxnard.

Forecasters, however, urged residents to remain vigilant as the threat of wildfires due to weather conditions will continue through the weekend.

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