‘Unusual’ late season heat wave to scorch Southern California; dangerous fire conditions expected
Southern California is bracing for hot weather and extreme fire danger. (Oct. 23, 2017)
A sweltering heat wave will blanket Southern California through the middle of the week, elevating the risk of wildfires and potentially breaking heat records, forecasters said.
Sunrises over Santa Fe Dam on Wednesday morning as October heat wave continues across Southern California.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
A surfer catches a wind-swept wave amid 104-degree temperatures in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Jim Dodd of Huntington Beach relaxes in the shade under the Huntington Beach Pier as a surfer heads across the beach after riding large Santa Ana wind-swept waves amid 104-degree temperatures in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Waring of Seal Beach rides a Santa Ana wind-swept wave with his son, Noah Waring, amid 104-degree temperatures in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A woman uses a towel for shade while relaxing at the Huntington Beach Pier.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Otis Jewell-Busche, 2, of Atwater Village cools off in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Johnny Griffin of Long Beach takes in the cool ocean breeze while playing guitar next to the Seal Beach Pier.(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Nova Burrows, 7, cools off in a fountain in downtown L.A.'s Grand Park.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles city and county firefighters work to put out a brush fire at the Hansen Dam Recreation Area in Pacoima.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles city firefighter Tony Acevedo puts water on a brush fire along the Woodley Ave. exit from the 118 freeway in Granada Hills.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
A pedestrian walking by Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles uses an umbrella for shade during the October heat wave.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Tuan Nguyen of Long Beach shoots a video of Tony Tave of Los Angeles performing aerial tricks at Hollenbeck Skate Park in Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Magic, a Staffordshire terrier-pitbull mix, cools off in a puddle of water during a visit to Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park in Encino.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Firefighters battle a wildfire in Moreno Valley. Officials warn of “the most dangerous fire weather conditions that southwest Cakifrnia has seen” in years.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
A firefighter keeps watch on a wildfire burning behind homes at Poorman’s Reservoir in Moreno Valley.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Joseph Neksalyan of Tarzana finds a shady spot to relax during a visit to Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park in Encino.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
George Adjikian, 8 months, and his cousin Abraham Daglian, 4 months, prepare to have their photograph taken by their mothers during a visit to the pumpkin patch at Tapia Brothers Farm in Encino.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
With the air already warm, a surfer rides a wave at Surfrider Beach in Malibu on Monday morning.(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
The hot sun reflects off the water as a surfer walks along Surfrider Beach in Malibu on Monday morning. The heat on Monday and Tuesday is expected to flirt with temperature records in places across California.(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
The National Weather Service on Monday issued a red flag warning through Wednesday, saying the high temperatures and Santa Ana winds will “bring the most dangerous fire weather conditions that Southwest California has seen in the past few years.”
The hottest and driest conditions are expected Monday and Tuesday, with record-breaking triple-digit heat and humidity lowering into single digits.
Should a fire break out, “there will be the potential for very rapid fire spread… and extreme fire behavior that could lead to a significant threat to life and property,” the weather service said.
Southern California’s hot and dry conditions come as firefighters begin to stand down from a series of massive wildfires that devastated Northern California’s wine country, claiming more than 40 lives and taxing resources.
Stoked at times by 50-mph winds, there have been 18 large wildfires in Northern California that have displaced about 100,000 people and destroyed approximately 7,700 homes and other buildings since Oct. 8, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“This is a very unusual late season heat wave and should not be taken lightly,” the weather service said.
There will also be elevated fire danger across Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties through Tuesday, especially in the Central Coast, forecasters said.
For more local and breaking news, follow me on Twitter: @sarahparvini
Times staff writer Javier Panzar contributed to this report.
The view from Sacramento
For reporting and exclusive analysis from bureau chief John Myers, get our California Politics newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.