Officials Friday urged Southern California residents to drink plenty of fluids and help conserve electricity as a fall heat wave was expected to bring triple-digit temperatures and low humidity to the region. Meanwhile, firefighters were on alert as a red flag warning was issued for parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Scorching temperatures were forecast to blanket the Southland through the weekend, peaking on Friday and Saturday, the National Weather Service said.
Highs will reach between 98 and 106 degrees in the valleys, and between 90 and 100 along the coasts and in mountain areas, according to the Weather Service.
Residents were advised to avoid outdoor activity during the hottest hours of the day, check on neighbors and the elderly, and to avoid leaving pets or children unattended in vehicles.
In a statement, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power encouraged customers to "stay comfortable but conserve energy where possible, especially between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m."
The utility noted that energy demand reached an all-time high during a heat wave two weeks ago, and issued recommendations to help avoid a strain on the power grid.
Customers were asked to:
- Adjust air-conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees and limit use of major appliances during the hottest hours of the day,
- Visit a local library, movie theater, cooling center, mall or other air-conditioned location "to give your air conditioner a rest," and
- Turn off lights and other electrical equipment when they are not in use.
Although the red flag warning was scheduled to expire after Friday evening, the elevated fire danger will remain in all areas through Sunday, officials said.
Hazardous conditions that increased the risk of brush fires included high temperatures, single-digit humidity, breezy offshore winds below passes and canyons, and extremely dry vegetation and fuels, the NWS said.