Fire Weather, Hazardous Conditions Again Threaten Southland

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The heat wave baking the Southland will go into a second day today, prolonging an elevated danger of wildfire and hazardous health conditions for residents.

The National Weather Service continued to warn of hot, very dry conditions -- up to 107 degrees in valley areas -- with humidity levels in the single digits, and strong gusty winds. But no red flag warnings were issued.

“Dangerously hot conditions are possible, especially away from the coast, Thursday through Saturday as strong high pressure builds over the region. The hottest day is expected to be Friday, when many valley locations will see temperatures above 100 degrees,'' according to the NWS. The agency advised residents to restrict outdoor activities to early morning or evening hours, wear loose, lightweight clothing of light colors, and drink plenty of fluids other than coffee or alcohol.

The warning noted that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments for people who work outdoors to guard against heat stroke.

“Also, never, ever, leave children, the elderly and pets in an enclosed car, even with the windows down during this heat,'' as car interiors can rapidly become hot enough to kill, warned the NWS.

A heat advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday in the San Gabriel, San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, both the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, and inland Orange County. No special advisories were issued for the Antelope Valley because temperatures of 100+ there are not regarded as unusual.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a heat alert that will be in effect through Monday in the Antelope Valley, through Sunday in the western San Fernando Valley and through Saturday in the eastern San Gabriel Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. The alert will be in effect Friday and Saturday and the eastern San Fernando Valley and on Friday in the western San Gabriel Valley.

And amid the “elevated fire danger,'' the weather Service urged area residents to avoid burning trash or brush outdoors, parking vehicles on dry grass, or leaving a burning grill unattended.

In the Angeles National Forest, a fast-moving brush fire was 10 percent contained this morning after scorching 240 acres in the Morris Dam north of Azusa, prompting evacuation orders. “A very robust air and ground attack is holding back further spread,'' Angeles National Forest Fire Chief Robert Garcia said. But he expects “tough days ahead in some of the steepest terrain in the Angeles, combined with a heat wave of 100-degrees-plus."

The fire was reported about 1:20 p.m. Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which was assisting Angeles National Forest crews.

A new wrinkle developed, meanwhile, in the Southland's weather picture, with the weather service warning the Southland's coastal waters would be shrouded in dense fog through this morning, reducing visibility to one nautical mile or less.

“Reduce speeds and be on the lookout for exposed rocks and other vessels, including large ships in the shipping lanes,'' an NWS statement urged recreational sailors. “Use radar or GPS navigation if available, and consider remaining in harbor if such equipment is unavailable.''

Early morning fog was also expected on the roads in much of L.A. County.

Photo: Getty Images

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