Southern California Heat Wave Causes Havoc Over The Weekend

Southern California has been experiencing a heat wave and is currently under a heat advisory until 8 p.m. Sunday.

In places such as Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley, and San Gabriel Valley, the heat wave has sent temperatures soaring into the upper 90s. The National Weather Service felt it necessary to issue a heat advisory when officials suspected that the temperatures might reach triple digits on Saturday.

It seems as though Southern California escaped the fate of hitting triple digit temperatures, but the high 90s heat was enough to cause havoc throughout the area.

On Friday night, California firefighters had to deal with the rebirth of a brush fire in Pala, California. They’d had it almost completely under control Thursday night. In fact, they tweeted that the flames were at a 95 percent controlled state.

Before that, the flames had burned through 45-acres and destroyed several empty buildings. By Friday evening, the brush fire was burning at 70 acres, but the firefighters managed to stop the spread there and begin beating it back.

The evacuation of Pala, California, residents at 5 p.m. on Friday was a necessary cost of the brush fires, especially since the heat wave caused the fire to spark back up in various areas. Luckily, the winds remained low, so firefighters were able to get the brush fire back to 35 percent controlled by 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

“The good news for [California] firefighters on the Pala Fire is that winds are not going to be much of a factor today and should stay down below 10 mph,” said Greg Bledsoe, an NBC7 meteorologist said early in the day.

California firefighters were able to lift the evacuation and open enough roads in the area that residents would be able to make their way back to their homes later in the day.

“Firefighters are making good progress. Please watch out for fire personnel and equipment nearby,” officials explained to NBC San Diego during the evacuation lift.

As the day went on, California firefighters were able to get the Pala brush fire up to 75 percent controlled and the roads in the area were opened to everyone in need of them.

Brush fires, however, weren’t the only havoc caused by the heat wave occurring in Southern California.

Students at Palm Desert High School were attending a graduation ceremony early Saturday afternoon. During the ceremony, nine people fell ill due to complications from the heat. One of those people had to be taken to a hospital by the Riverside County Fire Department.

Although the heat advisory is still in effect until Sunday evening, the temperatures do seem to be lowering into more acceptable territories.

In Pala, California, The Weather Channel shows the possibility that the temperatures should be mostly in the low 80s for the upcoming week. With the winds and temperatures lower than they have been, firefighters should be able to finish off the rest of the brush fire and cases of heat stroke in the area should diminish.

Heat stroke is an incredibly big concern during a heat wave. It’s important that people are able to recognize the symptoms of the illness and get treatment immediately if they suspect they are affected.

The Mayo Clinic explains that the symptoms of heat stroke include: a high body temperature (often at 104 degrees or higher), an altered mental state (such as slurred speech or delirium), moist skin, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, flushed skin, racing heart, and a throbbing headache.

If you believe someone is having a heat stroke it is important to call your local emergency service, get the person to a cooler place, remove excess clothing, and cool the person however possible.

[Photo by AP Photo/Dan Cole]