Southern California Heat Wave Brings Fire Danger With It
The temperatures are soaring in southern California.
With no hint of fall weather in sight, the mercury is on the rise from Los Angeles to San Bernardino to Santa Barbara. According to the Weather Channel, temperatures are expected to hit a balmy 94 degrees along the California coast, even in Santa Monica, where the historic temperature average for this time of year is 69 degrees.
With the heat comes the danger of wildfires across the region and on Monday, the National Weather Service issued a “red flag warning” for areas of southern California. The high temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds offer conditions that could cause a fire to quickly spread out of control.
“This is traditionally the time of year when we see these strong Santa Ana winds,” Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott in a statement. “And with an increased risk for wildfires, our firefighters are ready. Not only do we have state, federal and local fire resources, but we have additional military aircraft on the ready. Firefighters from other states, as well as Australia, are here and ready to help in case a new wildfire ignites.”
The state has already been greatly affected this wildfire season, with 18 large wildfires burning a staggering 240,000 acres in Norther California. Those fires have also killed 42 people and, according to the Los Angeles Times, have caused more than $1 billion in losses to homes and other property.
Beyond the prospect of wildfires, the National Weather Service is also advising those in Southern California without air conditioning to stay indoors or seek other shelter throughout the day Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures are expected to peak. And, as always, fire departments are urging families to shore up their emergency plans.
“If you haven’t yet talked to your family about an emergency plan, there’s no time like the present,” SDFD Fire Chief Brian Fennessy told NBC. “Putting a plan in place and practicing that plan will give you the best chance of staying safe during an emergency.”