High Heat, Fire Danger Again Threaten Southland

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Parts of the Southland remained under the threat of wildfire today and an excessive heat warning signifying health threats went into a second day.

A red flag warning signifying a high risk of wildfire because of high heat, strong winds, low humidity and bone-dry vegetation remained in force today in the San Gabriel Mountains and the forests that stretch over them -- the Angeles National Forest in L.A. County and Ventura County's Los Padres National Forest -- and the Santa Clarita Valley. It went into effect Monday and is scheduled to expire at 9 tonight.

There was no red flag warning in effect in Orange County, where firefighters are struggling to tame a wildfire in the Cleveland National Forest. A wind advisory issued Monday and scheduled to expire at 3 this morning was extended for at least three hours.

“Gusty winds will make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles,” warned the National Weather Service.

National Weather Service forecasters expect north winds of 15-30 miles per hour with gusts of 35-45 to blow through the San Gabriels early this morning before weakening and changing directions, replaced by southwest winds of 8-15 mph with 25 mph gusts. Also expected is a dismally low humidity level of 4-12 percent amid triple-digit temperatures.

“If fire ignition occurs, conditions are favorable for very rapid fire spread ... and extreme fire behavior, which would threaten life and property,” warned an NWS statement.

Also threatening the Southland today is unusually high heat. In effect until 8 tonight is an excessive heat warning throughout L.A. County -- the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, and coastal cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, the Downtown area, and the Hollywood Hills.

With several communities expecting triple-digit temperatures, the NWS warned of “increased potential for serious heat-related illnesses, especially for the young and elderly, those performing outdoor activities, as well as those without access to air conditioning” and an “increased potential for power outages.

“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” urged an NWS statement. “If possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening ... wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.”

Also, “Never, ever, leave people or pets in enclosed vehicles, even for a short period of time” since a car's interior temperature can quickly turn deadly.

The NWS forecast sunny skies in L.A. County today and highs of 84 degrees in Avalon; 85 at LAX; 94 on Mount Wilson; 95 in Long Beach; 96 in Downtown L.A.; 103 in San Gabriel and Burbank; 104 in Pasadena; 105 in Saugus; 108 in Palmdale and Lancaster; and 109 in Woodland Hills. Temperatures will drop by up to 10 degrees Wednesday but remain in the 100s and high 90s through at least Monday.

Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 79 in San Clemente; 82 in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach; 94 in Irvine and Anaheim; 97 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; and 98 in Yorba Linda. Temperatures will dip by a few degrees on Saturday.

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