At 98 degrees, heat in Los Angeles breaks a 131-year-old record

Los Angeles hit a record high of 98 degrees Saturday, as a wildfire in northern Santa Barbara County continued to burn out of control and the region suffered through the third day of a blistering heat wave.

Downtown Los Angeles’ record high temperature beat out the 131-year-old record of 95 degrees set in 1886, according to the National Weather Service.

Record high temperatures were also recorded in Long Beach, 96 degrees, and Burbank, 105, whilePalmdale tied its record of 110. Woodland Hills also reported a temperature of 110.

The San Fernando Valley was especially hard hit by triple-digit temperatures. By 3 p.m., the mercury registered 107 degrees at Lake Balboa, near Encino.

The heat, humidity and beating sun gave parkgoers plenty to complain about.

"Man, it’s brutal out here," said a shirtless man carrying a cooler back to his truck.

"Ay, que caliente está," said a mother, wiping sweat from her brow as she left a bathroom with her children in tow. "It's so hot."

People sat on blankets or chairs under the shade of trees or canopies. Rental paddle boats floated in the dock, unused. Only ducks and geese swam around, but even they mostly cooled off then went in search of shade.

Barbecues and children's parties were scattered around the lake, with spreads of food laid out on picnic tables. Blown-up bounce houses, their motors running, had no children inside.

Children splashed around wearing T-shirts and shorts in a narrow channel of water, an offshoot of the lake. A few entrepreneurs took advantage of the day to sell cold drinks and ice cream.

Dale Barrientos and his fiancée Silva Mesrobian sold cold drinks and chips out of foam coolers under a shady tree near the paddleboat dock.

Barrientos said they've been coming to the lake to make extra money every weekend for about a month. He said business is normally decent, with boat riders and people walking the paved path, but Friday and Saturday were especially slow.

"This is severe weather for people, kids and animals," he said.

On Friday, Barrientos said they sold just enough to cover the cost of the ice they bought. Saturday wasn't looking much better.

"Today at least there's parties," he said. "It actually looks like there's human life."

After half an hour, they finally got a customer: the lifeguard.

Temperatures in Los Angeles should begin cooling on Sunday by as much as five to 10 degrees in some areas, with the trend continuing over the next few days, said Todd Hall, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. The coast is expected to cool to the mid-70s and downtown to the mid-80s during the same period, he said.

Meanwhile, in Santa Barbara County, the Alamo fire — which started Thursday — has grown to more than 19,000 acres near the border of San Luis Obispo County, threatening a number of isolated homes and prompting a frantic response by firefighters from across Southern California.

Officials said the fire moved at an “extreme rate of spread” in just a few hours Friday evening, forcing evacuation orders amid 90-degree heat and low humidity. At one point, the fire grew by more than 3,000 acres over a four-hour period, officials said.

The fire ballooned to 6,000 acres overnight before roaring through an additional 12,000 acres by Saturday afternoon, officials said. About 200 homes have been evacuated.

No structures have been lost, officials said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

carlos.lozano@latimes.com

ALSO

Thousands of cows die in California heat wave; disposing them becomes a problem

Another longtime lawman joins race for L.A. County sheriff

Police say 'there was no crime,' lift Amber Alert for woman who allegedly took car with boy inside


UPDATES:

4:20 p.m.: This article was updated with new information from the National Weather Service.

2:40 p.m.: This article was updated with new information from the National Weather Service.

This article was originally posted at 8:40 a.m.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
62°