Share this article: A fire danger warning in Southern California.
Weather forecasters said red flag warnings indicating the potential for risky fire conditions had been issued in many parts of California for the weekend, notably in the Santa Barbara mountains, north of Los Angeles. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, a proclamation that allows power plants to operate beyond normal limits throughout the three-day holiday weekend.
The California Independent System Operator, which runs the state power grid, issued a "Flex Alert" for 3 p.m.to 9 p.m. Saturday through Monday, asking people to conserve power by not using appliances and keeping air conditioners at 78 degrees or above. An Excessive Heat Warning will be in effect from Saturday morning through Tuesday evening for all valley and foothill locations, as well as many of our mountains.
Californians sought relief on Friday from the first day of a punishing heat wave expected to last through the Labor Day weekend, bringing temperatures of up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (49 Celsius) and raising the risk of wildfires and rolling blackouts. The weather service also noted that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments.
High pressure will strengthen over California throughout the week and begin ushering in the sweltering conditions on Friday, forecasters said.
That "plague" has not abated, but increased, as forest fires have devastated the region.
Los Angeles County lifeguards were bracing for large crowds along the 72 miles of coastline they patrol. Authorities noted that due to the coronavirus pandemic, cooling centers will be limited in capacity and restrictions will be in place, such as requiring face coverings.
Forecasters predict the Western San Fernando Valley to be particularly brutal, with Woodland Hills possibly going near 120 degrees on Sunday.
"On a day like today I'm glad I work inside and I can eat ice cream all day", said Mai Emami, who said a steady number of customers were coming to the Cup & Cone Ice Cream shop in Woodland Hills to pick up their orders.
That heatwave also set records, with Death Valley - located near the border with Nevada - recording a high of 130 degrees, one of the hottest temperatures ever measured on Earth with modern instruments. Temperatures will rise sharply Saturday, reaching 115 in Anaheim and Fullerton, with a correspondingly sharp decrease Monday.