Winds reach 95 mph in SoCal, driving brush fires and shutting down COVID-19 testing sites

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Powerful winds are wreaking havoc across Southern California — toppling trees, shutting down coronavirus testing sites and driving at least two brush fires.

A blaze erupted by the 10 Freeway near Kellogg Drive in Pomona at around 1:30 p.m. Just before 3 p.m., it had burned about 40 acres and was 40% contained, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department‘s San Dimas station.

A brush fire was also burning near the Towsley Canyon Trail in Santa Clarita Valley, scorching about 167 acres, the L.A. County Fire Department said. It was 10% contained and didn’t threaten any structures as of 8 p.m., according to the agency.

The National Weather Service recorded 95 mph winds above Ventura, warning that more is on the way. In several cities in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, forecasters recorded wind speeds of anywhere from around 30 to 70 mph.

Officials had to shut down all six Ventura County testing sites. One semitruck tipped over on its side on the 118 Freeway in Simi Valley, and several downed trees have been reported, including in Valencia, Santa Paula and Santa Clarita.

On Monday, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced the temporary closure of the COVID-19 vaccination site at the Disneyland Resort in anticipation of Santa Ana winds. The Weather Service expects the strong winds to persist through Wednesday.

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