Extended heat wave to bring increased fire danger to Southern California

Local news

Southern California is bracing for an extended heat wave that has officials on high alert for potential wildfires.

High pressure building over the Southwest will bring increased temperatures on Monday and it will get even hotter as the week goes on, according to the National Weather Service.

Peak heat conditions are forecast for Tuesday through Friday with afternoon highs between 98 and 108 degrees for valley and mountain locations. Temperatures near the coast will remain between 75 and 85 degrees, according to the Weather Service.

An excessive heat warning is in place for Los Angeles and Ventura counties from 10 a.m. Tuesday through 9 p.m. Friday.

A heat warning has been issued for San Bernardino and Riverside counties in the Inland Empire beginning Monday and continuing until 9 p.m. Saturday.

An excessive heat watch has been issued in Orange County between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 9 p.m. Friday.

The heat wave comes amid severe to extreme drought conditions across parts of Southern California.

“These drought conditions have caused the brush to just be extra dry … All we need is winds, heat and a spark,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Engineer Mark Torres said.

Crews were busy with several fires over the weekend, including the Flats Fire, which started in the Santa Rosa Mountains in Riverside County.

The fire destroyed two homes and had burned 400 acres as of Monday morning. It was 30% contained, according to an update from Cal Fire.

Fire officials recommend residents in high-risk areas keep a defensible space around their home and have an evacuation kit ready to go.

Fire crews will be on high alert and have additional resources on stand by during the extended heat wave.

Residents are asked to limit outdoor activity during peak hours and drink lots of water. Do not leave children or pets in hot cars, and be sure to check on the elderly until cooler conditions return.

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