Temperatures soared across Los Angeles today, on the hottest day of a week-long heat wave that's combining with low humidity to create elevated fire danger.
A heat advisory will be in effect through Friday, with temperatures climbing into triple-digit territory not only in the valleys but in Orange County and other inland areas, according to the National Weather Service.
The heat prompted the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power grid, to issue a Flex Alert that will be in effect from 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday. The alert urges residents to conserve energy wherever possible to reduce strain on the grid and prevent possible rolling blackouts.
"With high temperatures in the forecast, the power grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use," according to a statement from Cal-ISO. "Reduced capacity, along with fire activity and heat, has led to a potential shortage of energy supply tomorrow (Thursday) evening."
Residents were urged to take conservation steps such as setting thermostats to at least 78 degrees, deferring the use of major appliances, turning off unneeded lights, using fans and closing blinds and drapes.
Today's highs reached 108 degrees in Fullerton and Van Nuys, 106 in Burbank and Pasadena, and 103 in downtown Los Angeles.
"Hot temperatures may cause heat illnesses to occur," the NWS warned. "Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors."
Hundreds of firefighters continued to battle the 114,413-acre Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest today, with containment at 63% and full containment not expected until Oct. 30.
A smaller brush fire was burning in the Castaic Canyons area northeast of Santa Clarita. The Martindale Fire had burned 230 acres and was 40% contained.
A number of cooling centers were open this week across the city and county of Los Angeles County.
Centers are open from noon to 6 p.m. through Friday at Los Angeles city library branches in Eagle Rock, Vernon, Lake View Terrace, North Hills, Sun Valley and Woodland Hills.
Various other communities in the county have cooling centers open, and they can all be viewed here.
Social distancing requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in reduced capacity at the sites.
Temperatures were expected to drop slightly Friday before a more significant cooling trend moves in over the weekend.
The story has been updated with today's high temperatures and updated forecast for the weekend.