SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — California citrus growers braced for subfreezing temperatures that threatened to damage crops in the state’s Central Valley citrus belt.

A freeze warning that began on Wednesday remained in effect through Friday morning, with the National Weather Service predicting that temperatures could fall as low as 25 degrees in rural areas.

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California Citrus Mutual president Joel Nielsen said citrus trees escaped serious damage Thursday when subfreezing temperatures failed to fall far enough to damage fruits.

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Citrus damage can occur when temperatures fall to 28 degrees for four hours or longer.

The current cold snap sent temperatures plunging to near-record lows across much of the state.

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