Scorching heat is expected throughout Riverside County Friday and the brutal stretch of temperatures is not expected to relent until the middle of next week, according to the National Weather Service.

Building high pressure over the southwestern United States will usher in scorching temperatures for the next five to six days, with the peak of the heat expected Friday through Monday, forecasters said.

The NWS issued an excessive heat warning that will be in effect through 9 p.m. Monday in the Riverside metropolitan area, the Riverside County mountains and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning. The warning will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Wednesday in the Coachella Valley.

The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Also, young children, seniors and pets should be never be left unattended in a vehicle, with car interiors able to “reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes,” according to the NWS.

High temperatures Friday are forecast to reach 116 in the Coachella Valley, 108 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 109 in Hemet, 107 in Riverside, 107 in Lake Elsinore, 102 in Temecula and 92 in Idyllwild.

Highs in the Coachella Valley are forecast to remain around 116 through Wednesday, according to the NWS. The mercury in the Riverside metropolitan area is expected to top out around 110 in some communities Friday, then remain in the mid-to-high 100s through Thursday.

Palm Springs and Thermal already tied high temperature records for an August 13 on Thursday, according to the NWS. Palm Springs recorded a high of 116 and the mercury reached 117 in Thermal, each matching their respective records from 2012.

Riverside County has 14 cooling centers available countywide with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing protocols in place.

Among the 14 locations, five are in the Coachella Valley, two in the Banning Pass, one in Moreno Valley, one in Temecula and five in Riverside.

A full list of the cooling center locations can be found at:

The Apple Fire, which burned 33,424-acres in the San Bernardino National Forest including a portion of the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, was 80% contained as of Thursday night.

Winds out of the west Friday are expected to be around 15 mph in that area, with 25 mph gusts possible throughout the day, forecasters said.

U.S. Forest Service officials said the gusty winds and increasing temperatures through the weekend could pose a challenge to containment efforts, but fire lines passed the test of winds earlier in the week and full containment was expected Monday.

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