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Heat wave hits Southern California, increasing wildfire risk

Heat wave hits Southern California, increasing wildfire risk
Brothers Matthew, left, and Nathan Gomez cool off in the water fountain at Grand Park in downtown on Monday. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

For those who stepped outside Wednesday before sunrise, the heat was already there.

Temperatures inland were in the upper 70s before the sun came up, and are expected to skyrocket when the overnight moisture fades, the National Weather Service said.

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"It's going to be plenty hot," said Dave Bruno, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The second heat wave this month is hitting Southern California – and it could be as bad as the last one, Bruno said.

The sustained heat is also increasing the danger of fast-moving wildfires, he said.

Shielded by clouds that kept the weather cooler than expected Tuesday, the region probably won't be as lucky Wednesday or going into the weekend, as heat flowing from Texas could break local records, Bruno said.

Temperatures could climb into the 100s in the valleys and will hover in the lower 90s downtown, Bruno said. It will be about 10 degrees cooler – in the 80s – along the coast.

A temperature record was broken in Camarillo on Tuesday, but the records there are lower than most places, he said. In traditionally warmer areas, it may be harder to break records.

Woodland Hills' record high for Aug. 27 is 111. Tomorrow, it may only hit 104, Bruno said.

But no matter where people go, for the rest of the week humidity is going to follow, with a sticky, muggy feel coating the area, he said.

"I would suggest finding shade or an air conditioned building," Bruno cautioned. "Don't do any strenuous activities outside or in the sun."

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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