LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Record-breaking heat hit Southern California on Thursday as the region prepared for a sweltering weekend marked by Santa Ana winds and extreme fire danger.
New highs for the date were set in Long Beach, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, where temperatures hit the mid- to high 90s, the National Weather Service reported.
In Porter Ranch, the dangerous weather conditions brought wind gusts of up to 20 mph, and temperatures into the low-90s, according to KCAL9 meteorologist Kaj Goldberg.
Temperatures could top 100 in the valleys and lower mountain areas into Sunday, and the weather service issued heat advisories through Friday for above-normal temperatures as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area, with 80s to 90s at the coast and triple digits inland.
The weather service also issued red-flag warnings of fire danger through Friday for some areas because of heat, low humidity and Santa Ana winds gusting to 20 mph.
The weather service said the heat stemmed from a ridge of high pressure building over the region. It was not expected to begin breaking down until Sunday.
The average high temperature in downtown Los Angeles in October is 79 degrees. It hit 96 Thursday.
Of great concern to firefighters and residents alike is the relative humidity value, which was down to 7.0 percent, indicating bone-dry conditions, according to Goldberg.
“It’s devastating what’s going on with our fires. It’s just devastating,” said one Porter Ranch resident.
The Los Angeles Fire Department placed additional firefighting resources in brush areas Thursday. The deployment was anticipated to last 24 hours but would be re-evaluated depending on weather conditions, the department said.
But the city did not impose special restrictions that ban parking in areas of narrow roads, tight turns and key intersections where access by firefighting vehicles could be impeded.
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