The National Weather Service on Saturday issued a red flag warning for Southern California, informing residents about very hot temperatures and possible fire danger. According to the Los Angeles Times, there are two advisories in effect; the first one being an excessive heat warning, and the second being a wind advisory.
The warning is in effect for the next three days. The region is likely to witness higher than normal temperatures, as well as wind speeds in excess of 35 miles per hours during this period. The excessive heat watch is expected to remain in effect in several areas until Tuesday. During this period, the temperatures could range from 98 to 106 degrees for inland Orange County and the western Inland Empire and the western valleys in San Diego County. The coastal region will also experience highs that range from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. The red flag warning also means that firefighters across the region have been put on alert for an increase in wildfire activity.
The places that are affected by the advisory include the San Bernardino and Riverside County valleys, The Inland Empire, San Diego County valleys, Orange County coastal areas, as well as the Orange County Inland areas. The cities affected include Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Moreno Valley, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Escondido, El Cajon, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee, Poway, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Fullerton, and Mission Viejo.
A statement issued by Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott explained the move.
“This is traditionally the time of year when we see these strong Santa Ana winds. And with an increased risk for wildfires, our firefighters are ready. Not only do we have state, federal and local fire resources, but we have additional military aircraft on the ready. Firefighters from other states, as well as Australia, are here and ready to help in case a new wildfire ignites.”
Authorities have asked people to stay indoors to avoid heat-related illnesses. Special care should be taken by people involved in strenuous outdoor activity, and those who lack access to air conditioning. Additionally, they have also asked people to be extra cautious and to ensure that they do not leave pets or children inside a parked car.
Since October 8, the prevailing hot and dry conditions in California have caused more than 18 wildfires and claimed more than 40 lives. Apart from millions of dollars in damage, the fire has also led to the displacement of more than 100,000 people and the destruction of more than 7,700 homes.
[Featured Image By Noah Berger/AP Images]