Howling winds that fueled destructive wildfires across California began to die down Friday, but residents in the northern part of the state braced for another round of power outages aimed at preventing what are expected to be the strongest gusts in years from sparking more blazes this weekend.

Fires have destroyed dozens of buildings in Northern California wine country and in subdivisions on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where flames shut down a freeway and smoke forced schools to close. Officials are trying to gain some control of the flames as the wind tapers off — for now.

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