Record High Heat in SoCal, Wildfire Destroys Homes
A fast-moving wildfire in the Sierra Nevada foothills destroyed 10 structures, including homes, and led to several minor injuries, fire officials said Saturday as blazes threatened homes around California during a heat wave.
The fire South of Oroville was one of more than a dozen burning in the state as firefighters worked in scorching temperatures to control unruly flames.
An excessive heat wave in Southern California set records in several cities, breaking a mark set for the date in Los Angeles 131 years ago, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
Around Noon, the downtown temp spiked at 96 degrees, topping the Y 1886 record by 1 degree bringing with it potentially life-threatening conditions.
Forecasters warned that 3X-digit temps up to 110 degrees would be common in some inland areas and could be deadly for the elderly, children and outdoor workers.
Air quality was expected to be unhealthy and very unhealthy in areas inland from Los Angeles.
The NWS attributed the heat wave to a “strong upper-level high-pressure system centered over the desert southwest.”
Temperatures are expected to drop about 5 degrees Sunday and gradually decrease over the following few days, according to the NWS.
Power outage were suffered throughout the Los Angeles area Saturday.
Power has been restored to Department of Water and Power (DWP) 100’ds of customers in Hollywood and West Hollywood Saturday.
The outage in the area of Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue occurred about 10:00a, utility spokesman Michael Ventre said.
Most of the customers again had power as of 9:00p after workers “shifted the load” around the damaged area, repairs continued into the night
High temps and dry gusts helped a fire in Santa Barbara County double in size overnight to more than 9 sqm, county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.
Hundreds of residents living near Santa Maria were under orders to abandon their homes as the fire was only 10% contained.
More than 1,000 firefighters were deployed to the fire that sent plumes over northern Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo County. Five helicopters and 4 planes were also attacking the flames and working to protect homes.
After 5 years of severe drought, California got a big break with record rainfall and snowpack in parts of the state this year that has delayed the start of fire season in some places, but has also led to explosive vegetation growth that could fuel future fires.
The blaze burning south of Oroville swept through grassy growth and spread through tall trees as it grew rapidly to more than 1.5 sqm, and was only 2% contained.
Five residents and 1 firefighter suffered minor injuries in the Butte County fire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported, and evacuation orders were in place in the rural area about 60 miles north of Sacramento.
The area burning is about 10 miles south of Oroville, where spillways in the nation’s tallest dam began crumbling from heavy rains this winter and led to temporary evacuation orders for 200,000 residents downstream.
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