LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Southland residents were under warning today to protect themselves, their loved ones, their pets and the power grid during a heat wave that will start over the weekend and last through early next week, creating a risk of wildfire.
Cooling stations have been set up for residents at various locations. In the City of San Fernando, a cooling station will be available in the multipurpose room at Recreational Park located at 208 Park Ave., San Fernando for those who need to escape the heat. Cooling stations are also set up in various other locations.
For those residents who live in the jurisdiction of the city of Los Angeles, can call 3-1-1 for a cooling station location.
Temperatures, meanwhile, are forecast to climb sharply starting Saturday, and Monday is expected to be the event’s hottest day, with temperatures ranging between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service.
Next week’s “dangerously hot conditions” will result from “an extremely strong area of high pressure” over Arizona and New Mexico, according to an NWS statement. Some relief is expected in coastal and valley areas Tuesday, but the San Gabriel Mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley “will remain dangerously hot,” according to an NWS statement.
The high heat combined with humidity levels in the single digits and the teens “will likely bring an extended period of elevated fire danger across much of southwest California Saturday through Tuesday,” according to an NWS statement.
The NWS issued an excessive heat watch that will be in force in most of L.A. County from Monday morning until Monday night but expire only Tuesday evening in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.
“Dangerous heat-related illness is possible, especially for sensitive populations, those conducting outdoor activities, and people without access to air conditioning,” according to an NWS statement.
Forecasters urged Southland residents to schedule outdoor work only early in the morning or in the evening, wear light, loose clothing, drink plenty of water and guard against heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
“Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency — call 911,” warned an NWS statement. It added: “Never, ever leave people or pets in enclosed vehicles, even for a short time.”
The warning about leaving people in hot cars applies especially to children and the elderly. And monitoring pets needs to extend outside the family vehicle, according to animal experts.
Los Angeles city animal services officials say pet owners must make sure their cats, dogs and other animals are kept cool during the heat wave. Pet owners should watch for signs of heatstroke, such as fast and noisy breathing, difficulty swallowing and distressed behavior.
If heatstroke is suspected, pet owners should place a cold, wet towel on the back of the animal’s head, and towel-wrapped cold compresses on their back legs and belly. The pet should be immediately taken to the veterinarian to be checked.
Other tips include:
— making sure the pet has fresh drinking water served in a large container, instead of a shallow bowl, to allow the water to remain cold longer;
— giving your dog ice cubes to eat or adding them to the water bowl;
— avoid burning dogs’ paws by keeping them off of hot pavement or concrete during walks, and if necessarily do the walks early or later in the day when it is cooler; and
— taking extra care to provide shade to pets with lighter coats because they are more likely to be sunburned.
Also of concern is the state’s power grid, prompting Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials to urge customers to reduce their energy use whenever possible.
“During times of extreme heat, we strongly encourage customers to conserve electricity as long as it does not jeopardize their health,” DWP General Manager Marcie Edwards said. “Doing simple things such as turning up your thermostat to 78 degrees and turning off your lights will save electricity use and reduce the risk of outages.”
DWP officials noted that outages can occur during episodes of high heat when residents and businesses crank up their air conditioners at the same time.
According to the utility, conservation is particularly essential from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The utility recommended that customers save energy by:
— turning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher;
— turning off unnecessary lights;
— adjusting water heaters to 120 degrees;
— using major appliances only late in the evening or early in the morning; and
— turning off pool pumps.
Residents were also urged to prepare for possible power outages by having flashlights and batteries readily available and keeping a battery- operated radio handy. DWP officials also recommended that people keep a phone charger in a car to ensure they can contact friends or relatives during an outage, keep a supply of non-perishable food and have a cooler available to use for food that needs to be refrigerated.
Temperatures will climb Saturday — minimally in some communities, sharply in others — and again on Sunday and Monday.
Downtown L.A., for example, is forecast to have a high of 79 today, 86 Saturday, 92 Sunday, 100 Monday and 91 Tuesday before slipping back into the 80s. At the same time, Woodland Hills is forecast to reach 89 today, 98 Saturday, 106 Sunday, 110 Monday and 101 Tuesday before reverting to the 90s.
Along the coast, a high surf advisory will be in effect until 9 tonight in L.A. and Orange counties. Waves of 3 to 6 feet are expected. The advisory had not been expected to extend beyond 10 Thursday night.