While parts of the state battle fires, Southern California finds different ways to get through the heat wave
The remains of a structure and boats scorched by the Whittier fire sit along State Route 154 in the Los Padres National Forest near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The Whittier fire burns toward State Route 154 on Sunday in the Los Padres National Forest near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Hundreds of people seek relief from the hot weather in the surf Sunday along the Santa Monica Pier.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Hundreds of people seek relief from the hot weather Sunday near the Santa Monica Pier.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A young girl tries to outrun the hot sand near Arlington West Santa Monica memorial on the north side of the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Hazmat workers inspect a storm drain after a Saturday night’s explosion at a Department of Water and Power station in Northridge. Thousands of gallons of mineral oil, a coolant, were sent down drains as firefighters used water to douse a burning transformer.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A man wipes his face in front of his home on Logan Street in Los Angeles.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A woman shields herself from the hot sun in 91 degree weather in Chinatown.(Christina House / For The Times)
Jacob Martinez, 8, of Anaheim, waits for the water to turn on after a brief break to cool off in the spray pool at Lemon Park in Fullerton,(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
The Whittier Fire burns on the north side of the Santa Inez Mountains near Goleta.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A hot spot burns ahead of the Alamo fire near Santa Maria on Saturday, July 8, 2017.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Firefighters look on as a helicopter drops water on the Alamo fire near Santa Maria on Saturday, July 8, 2017.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A firefighter maneuvers his vehicle down a private road as the Alamo fire burns near Santa Maria on Saturday, July 8, 2017.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Johnny Lewis, left, and his friend of over 50 years Earl Jackson, right, find refuge in the shade of an abadoned restaurant on Vermont and 54th in Los Angeles on Friday, during the region’s latest heat wave.(Christina House / For The Times)
People brave record 110-degree temperature Friday while walking to work in West Hills in the San Fernando Valley.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A visitor to Angels Gate Park in San Pedro watches the setting sun against a fiery sky at the end of a hot day in Southern California.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Melissa Garcia, 6, cools off in the Reseda Park pool in the San Fernando Valley on Friday afternoon.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Maricruz Garista, 17, cools off during a break from carp fishing with relatives at the Los Angeles River.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
People cool off in the spray pool at Lemon Park in Fullerton.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
The crowd waits for the water to return after a brief break in the spray pool at Fullerton’s Lemon Park.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Kids cool off in the spray pool at Fullerton’s Lemon Park.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
A woman shields herself from the hot sun in 91 degree weather in Chinatown.(Christina House / For the Times)
In Chinatown, pedestrians use umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun in 91 degree weather on Friday.(Christina House / For the Times)
Jocelyn Caravantes, 3, left, and her brother Dean, 6, play in their Boyle Heights pool on a hot afternoon while their mother, Evelyn, watches from a chair in the shade.(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Swimmers dive from a pier at Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe, where temperature are expected in the mid 80’s today.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Darin Yoon, 12, endures the late afternoon sun as he sits with his father, John, at Dodger Stadium to watch the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks game.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Daniel Garcia rides around the Rose Bowl Loop Trail on a hot day in the Southland with temperatures expected to reach triple digits on Friday.(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Anthony Garcia, 7, cools off at the splash pad at Rio de Los Angeles State Park in Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Firefighters extinguish a brush fire at Buena Vista Meadow in Elysian Park in Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Maribel Vasquez cleans reserved level seats in the hot afternoon sunshine hours before the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks game at Dodger Stadium.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A concertgoer prepares his spot for a free concert at Eastgate Park in Garden Grove.(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Josh Peralta plays in water splashing in a fountain in Cathedral City, where temperature reached 118 degrees.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Tina Robinson, left, and Eric Johns of Chicago beat the heat by walking under a cool mist and sipping colds drink in Palm Springs.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Moises Lopez takes a water break from landscaping a San Gabriel Mission school to stay hydrated.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Lincoln watches over pet owner Michelle Virney while she takes a nap to cool off in Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Surfers set a mark recognized by the Guinness World Records for the largest paddle-out on International Surfing Day.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Surfers line up before attempting to set a mark recognized by the Guinness World Records for the largest paddle-out, forming the Surfing Circle of Honor on International Surfing Day.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Umbrellas are required equipment while walking around Vincent Lugo Park as temperatures rise during the latest heat wave.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
To beat the heat, Lily Lin leads an early morning Tai Chi class at Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
From left, Aaron Stevens, 11, Alida Stevens, 4, and Brian Botts, 9, wave down customers as they sale refreshments on a hot summer day in Van Nuys. “We want to help people hydrate while helping ourselves,” Aaron Stevens said.(Christian K. Lee / Los Angeles Times)
Brian Botts, left, and Aaron Stevens, right, prepare a cup of Kool-Aid for Carlos Zepeda in Van Nuys.(Christian K. Lee / Los Angeles Times)
Tawny Auer joins her sons Shane, left, and Carter to cool off in a pool at the aquatic center in Palm Desert, where temperature reached 115 degrees.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Adrian Rosales cools off at the spray pool at Lemon Park in Fullerton.(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times )
Children splash in water from the spray pool at Lemon Park in Fullerton.(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times )
Boaters relax on Big Bear Lake as a giant plume from the Holcomb fire burns nearby in rugged terrain in the San Bernardino National Forest.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Luigi, a thirsty pit bull, cools down at Genesee Avenue Park in Los Angeles.(Christian K. Lee / Los Angeles Times)
They said it could break records, and the heat wave that enveloped Southern California on Friday didn’t disappoint.
Even dogs had to seek relief wherever they could find it as downtown Los Angeles matched its record high of 96 degrees for the day and firefighters worked to contain brush fires along the Central Coast. More of the same is expected Saturday, before a reprieve on Sunday, forecasters said.
“We’ve just got to make it through tomorrow,” said National Weather Service Senior Forecaster Andrew Rorke on Friday.
Some people headed to neighborhood parks and pools to stay cool, while others who had to be out in the sun improvised.
As temperatures in West Hills neared 110 degrees, a group of women stopped to rest after several hours spent cleaning houses.
Sitting on a bench on Valley Circle Boulevard, they gulped soda and snacked on Mexican dishes from a food truck parked nearby.
Maria Rodriguez said she was trying to make make sure that her co-workers at the cleaning service stayed hydrated between jobs. Not all of the homeowners had left the air conditioning on, she said, so the women tried to speed up their work.
“You have them … lifting, bending, focusing on their job to make sure they do everything,” Rodriguez said. “They know their routines, but at the same time [they are] pushing to get it done faster.”
In Central California, the Alamo fire — which started Thursday — grew from 500 acres to more than 3,000 acres Friday afternoon along the border between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, 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.
“Yesterday as the sun went down, we threw everything we had at it from the air, held it to 175 acres,” said Chris Elms, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “As the sun came up, temperatures went through the roof.”
A second blaze, known as the Tower fire, was started by a car fire along the 101 Freeway near Cuesta Grade in San Luis Obispo County, closing all but one northbound lane at the site. By mid-evening, the fire was holding at 60 acres, but firefighters planned to work through the night toward full containment, authorities said.
For firefighters and others who work outdoors, Friday was a challenge.
About 10:30 a.m. in Lake Balboa, Gaudencio Rosas, 32, wiped sweat from his face as he mowed a lawn. He wore a straw hat to ward off the sun, and said that he drinks Gatorade throughout the day to stay hydrated.
“The whole day I’m in the sun … this is a hard job,” said Rosas, adding that after over a dozen years as a gardener, he’s become used to working through the summer heat.
But a couple of blocks away at Anthony C. Beilenson Park, children took time out to play and feed bread to ducks on the lake.
Mutti Wolfe and her 2-year-old grandson, Matthew, sported streaks of sunscreen on their faces as they sat on a blanket by the playground. “My grandson wanted to go to the park and playground, that’s why I did it,” she said of the decision to be outside — while Matthew played with an ice pack.
Nearby, Florita Cordoba of Van Nuys said that despite the heat, she had promised her 6-year-old son, Angel, that they would go to the park right after his morning summer school class.
“Inside the house it’s also hot,” she said, holding an orange Popsicle. “Here, there are at least trees, and the wind blows a bit.”
Reseda Park Pool at midday was filled with children practicing dives, taking swimming lessons and splashing in the water. At the shallow end of the pool, Irma Monterroso instructed her daughter Rebecka Garcia, 9, to keep her legs straight while doing the backstroke.
“We’re trying to stay active on a very hot day, which is difficult,” Monterroso said.
Staying active was not a problem for Charles Rahim, a supervisor at the Calabasas Auto Spa car wash. So every 15 minutes, he said, he was soaking a cloth with cool water and placing it under his hat.
“That’s how I survive all day in the sun,” Rahim said. “It’s the beginning of another summer. This is not just temporary. I’m going to be hot.”
But nice gestures from customers, he said, make things easier. The day before, a regular dropped off two 48-packs of water bottles for the workers. They were going through the second pack Friday, he said.
Woodland Hills’ high of 110 broke the old record for the day of 108, set in 2006. At 6 p.m. it was still 103 degrees. Gina Holguin, standing in her front yard with her three dachshunds, said it was 80 degrees inside her house when she got home from work.
“It’s kind of like being in an oven,” said Holguin, a social worker. “The dry heat, it just makes you tired.”
Concerned about the health of her dogs, she was taking them in and out of the house.
“I wet them down, let them dry off, take them back in and do it again,” she said. “They can only be out here for so long.”
Times staff writer Gale Holland contributed to this report
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