Sizzling heat is sending bears into Pasadena backyard pools and people to soothing spots like the pool at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.
Daytime highs are expected to reach 100 degrees or more Thursday and Friday, and to remain in the 90s into next week, according to the National Weather Service.
The extreme heat comes after the continental United States experienced the hottest July on record.
Local officials have opened several cooling centers throughout the region for those who lack an air-conditioned place to cool off. Cooling centers are open in Altadena, Glendale, Pasadena and South Pasadena.
For a complete list of centers and hours, visit http://publichealth.
Health officials encourage people, especially children and senior citizens, to stay indoors as much as possible, and to make sure pets are not exposed to too much sun or heat.
People whose homes lack air conditioning are encouraged to head for libraries, indoor malls and other places that have efficient temperature-control systems.
Residents are encouraged to drink lots of water and look out for signs of dehydration including dizziness, fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps.
Southern California Edison and Pasadena Water and Power suggest that residents refrain from using appliances during daylight hours to reduce energy demand, set air conditioners to about 78 degrees, and open refrigerator and freezer doors as infrequently as possible in order to conserve energy.