High tem­per­a­tures spark wild­fires in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Ex­ces­sive heat hit south­ern Cal­i­for­nia this week­end, with the high tem­per­a­ture in some ar­eas reach­ing 42 C. This is also a tough week­end for 2,300 fire­fight­ers bat­tling wild­fires which have raged in much of the state and whose size ex­ceeds records over past years.

The fire that started early on Satur­day af­ter­noon i n Cal­i­for­nia’s Santa Bar­bara County had spread to both sides of High­way 154 and was “com­pletely out of con­trol,” county fire Cap­tain Dave Zani­boni said.

About 90 chil­dren and 50 coun­selors were struck at the Circle V Ranch and had to take shel­ter there un­til they could be safely evac­u­ated.

Some 17 wild­fires in var­i­ous states of con­tain­ment were burn­ing in Cal­i­for­nia on Satur­day, from the Six Rivers Na­tional For­est in the north to the San Bernardino For­est east of Los An­ge­les.

An ex­ces­sive heat warn­ing has been ex­tended un­til 11:00 pm (0600 GMT) for much of south­ern Cal­i­for­nia, with te mper­a­ture records be­ing bro­ken across the re­gion.

Down­town Los An­ge­les tied the 1954 record of 36 C while the city’s north­west­ern sub­urb of Wood­land Hills reached a high of 42.7 C, break­ing the record of 42.2 C set in 2006.

“Dan­ger­ous and po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing heat is ex­pected through (to­day), when high tem­per­a­tures be­tween 100 and 110 de­grees are ex­pected for many in­te­rior sec­tions of south­west Cali-

Dan­ger­ous and po­ten­tially lifethreat­en­ing heat is ex­pected...” US Na­tional Weather Ser­vice

for­nia,” the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice said in a state­ment.

The weather ser vice at­trib­uted the heat wave to a “strong up­per-level high­pres­sure sys­tem cen­tered over the desert south­west,” adding that the heat­wave could con­tinue i nto Sun­day.

“Hot tem­per­a­tures will cre­ate a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion in which there is an in­creased threat of heat-re­lated ill­nesses. The ex­tended heat wave will also bring el­e­vated fire weather con­di­tions through the week­end,” said the NWS.

Cal­i­for­nia Gover­nor Jerry Brown in April de­clared the of­fi­cial end of t he state’s drought t hat lasted more than five years.

But he kept in place wa­ter re­port­ing re­quire­ments, as well as bans on prac­tices like wa­ter­ing dur­ing or fol­low­ing rain­fall and hos­ing off side­walks.

“This drought emer­gency is over, but the next drought could be around the cor­ner,” Brown said in a state­ment.

“Con­ser­va­tion must re­main a way of life.”

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