LOS ANGELES — Fire weather watches will go into effect on Thanksgiving for a large swath of Southern California as Santa Ana winds develop, forecasters said Wednesday.

Southern California Edison was considering shutting off electricity to more than 76,000 customers in five counties to prevent wildfires from being ignited by wind damage to power lines.

The Santa Anas will affect the region from northwest of Los Angeles down to the US-Mexico border through the holiday and into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Santa Ana winds blow from the interior toward the coast, creating potentially critical fire conditions with the combination of vegetation-withering low humidity and powerful gusts, especially below mountain passes and canyons.

Common in the fall but possible at other times, the northeast winds have fanned many catastrophic wildfires.

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