Heat advisories and extreme heat warnings are in place for much of Southern California Tuesday through midweek, with the National Weather Service warning that critical fire conditions are expected, including triple-digit temperatures in some areas, low humidity and gusty winds.
According to the National Weather Service, most areas can expect temperatures that are 6 to 12 degrees above normal through Wednesday.
Highs reached 108 in Lancaster on Tuesday, 106 in Woodland Hills, 105 in Santa Clarita and Burbank, 101 in Pasadena and 96 near downtown Los Angeles.
The Antelope Valley will be under an excessive heat warning until 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Less severe heat advisories will be in effect through 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, where high temperatures will range from 97 to 107; in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, where highs could reach 105 degrees; and in the Los Angeles County Mountains, with highs of up to 106.
The Los Angeles County health officer issued a heat alert through Saturday for the Antelope Valley, and through Thursday for the Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys.
“High temperatures are not just an inconvenience, they can be dangerous and even deadly. But we can protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated,” Dr. Muntu Davis said. “It is critically important to never leave children, elderly people, or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning and particularly in vehicles, even if the windows are `cracked’ or open, as temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels. If you have an elderly or infirm neighbor who is without air conditioning, check on them throughout the day.”
Forecasters said overnight “lows” will drop to 70-75 degrees across the warmest locations.
“Well above-average high temperatures will continue for inland areas through the middle of the week with lowest daytime humidity falling to around 10 to 15 percent,” the NWS said.
“Slight cooling will begin to spread inland on Wednesday with high temperatures returning to near to slightly above average by Monday of next week. There will be a recovery in humidity for the weekend into early next week.”
Onshore winds also are expected to become more widespread, with gusts generally between 20 and 35 mph across each afternoon and evening, with isolated gusts to 40 mph near the Antelope Valley foothills.
This means an increase risk of fire due to dry brush and related conditions on the ground and the potential for the rapid spread and massive growth once flames get started.
Similar conditions will potentially continue into Thursday, forecasters said.
The NWS advised people with health sensitivities that put them at risk for heat-related illnesses to use caution this week, drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms and out of the sun.
It’s a warning echoed by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
“We’re in the thick of summer and this week will be a scorcher!” the department tweeted Monday. “Make sure you keep as cool as possible and drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. Stay safe, everyone!”
Officials with the Los Angeles city and county fire departments have said they are monitoring weather conditions and will decide whether staffing changes are needed on a day-to-day basis.
Health officials are also reminding the public to:
— check on relatives and neighbors, especially those with health issues;
— never leave young children and pets unattended in vehicles under any circumstances;
— take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside;
— reduce risk during outdoor work by taking frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments;
— reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, when possible;
— know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke; and
— wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing, when possible.