Hot temperatures, low humidity stoke wildfire
Firefighters battling the San Bernardino Mountain blaze will not get much help as the heat continues across the drought-worn Southland
As local temperatures reached triple digits inland, the state’s first major forest fire of the season continued to rage Saturday in the San Bernardino Mountains south of Big Bear.
Strong high pressure aloft produced temperatures of105 in the Antelope Valley with readings of 102 in Palmdale and Lancaster, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures reached the high 90s in Woodland Hills and the Santa Clarita Valley, while the mercury hit about 98 in Riverside and 97 in San Bernardino.
The Los Angeles area experienced temperatures in the mid- to high 80s. In neighboring Orange County, readings in the mid- to high 70s were reported near the coast.
The hot weather and low humidity are contributing to the fast-spreading Lake fire, which has consumed more than15,000 acres of old-growth wilderness in the San Bernardino Mountains. The firewas more than10% contained Saturday afternoon.
About 1,200 firefighters are working the blaze, which began Wednesday and forced several hundred people to evacuate campsites and vacation homes. About 400 buildings were threatened.
The fire spread to areas at elevations of 6,000 to 10,000 feet, officials said. Under normal conditions, these areas would probably be wet from storms and perhaps still topped by snow.
Though there is a chance of some minor cooling, the National Weather Service predicts there will be little relief Sunday, especially for the inland areas, deserts and mountains.
“The high pressure will remain in place,” said David Sweet, a weather service meteorologist. “It will be another hot day Sunday, then a slow cooling trend will begin Monday and continue through the rest of the week.”
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through Sunday evening. Temperatures are expected to reach 112 in the lower deserts, up to 100 in the high deserts and Inland Empire, and 95 in lower mountain areas.
The public is advised to drink plenty of water; wear light, loose-fitting clothing and schedule strenuous activity for the early morning or evening.
ABOUT 1,200 FIREFIGHTERS are working the Lake fire, which has burned more than 15,000 acres of San Bernardino Mountains wilderness that under normal conditions would probably be wet from storms.
STRIKE TEAMS from Los Padres turn away from the heat of a flareup while using backfires to battle the Lake fire south of Big Bear.