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

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Dan Weikel dan.weikel@latimes.com

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.

Pho­to­graphs by Gina Ferazzi Los An­ge­les Times

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.

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