People stand next to flames rising from the ranch fire in the mountains of San Gabriel above Azusa, 25 miles east of Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 14, 2020.
Apu Gomes | AFP | Getty Images
California faces a heat wave on Friday that could cause dangerously high temperatures across the state, an increased risk of forest fires and a higher risk of the spread of the coronavirus as people flock to beaches and recreational areas.
High pressure build-up over western states could push temperatures down into three-digit numbers in many places over the weekend, and oppressive weather could last until next week in the Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada foothills, the deserts and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Palm Springs and other desert regions could approach 120 degrees (49 ° C), and even cooler areas like coastal regions and parts of San Francisco could reach 80 degrees (27 ° C), the National Weather Service forecast.
"Dangerously hot conditions occur every day in the afternoon and early in the evening," said a warning from the National Weather Service.
Excessive heat monitors and warnings were issued across the state, and forecasters warned that even the nighttime temperatures would remain uncomfortable.
Los Angeles planned to open cooling centers, but with limited capacity due to coronavirus social distancing requirements.
The California independent system operator, which manages the state's power grid, issued a nationwide Flex Alert on Friday calling for voluntary power savings from 3:00 p.m. until 10 p.m. when a higher demand is expected, mainly through the use of air conditioning.
A cloud of smoke rises from Lake Fire on August 12, 2020 in Lake Hughes, California. The fire, which quickly rose to 10,000 acres, burned the Lake Hughes area of the Angeles National Forest, creating mandatory evacuations and threatening structures.
Mario Tama | Getty Images
In addition, cloudy remnants of a tropical weather system will reduce solar energy and lead to a tighter energy supply, according to the operators.
People were asked to turn off unnecessary lights and avoid using large appliances such as washing machines during these hours.
The scorching temperatures are a problem for firefighters battling flames that have destroyed several homes and broken out near rural and urban foothills, driving through scale-dry brushes.
Temperatures at Lake Hughes on Friday were expected to be above 100 degrees (38 ° C) near a devastating fire that burned at least three buildings, including a few houses, and after breaking through chaparral and thick forest in the Angeles National Forest are out of control.
The flame was fueled by the dry vegetation.
"This will be a major fire for several days," said Chief Robert Garcia of the US Forest Service.
In addition to the possibility of heat stroke and other illnesses in hot weather, health officials feared people would pack up beaches, lakes, and other recreational areas without following instructions for masks and social distancing – a major problem in a state where more than 590,000 People lived coronavirus cases and nearly 11,000 deaths.
Israel saw a resurgence of COVID-19 after a heat wave in May inspired school officials to have children take off their masks, said Dr. George Rutherford, epidemiologist at the University of California at San Francisco, opposite the San Francisco Chronicle.
"People will want to take their masks off when it's hot," Rutherford said. "Do not do it.
However, on Thursday, some people gathering at Lake Merritt, Oakland, were not concerned.
Brenda Jackson, who was picnicking with her husband, said she wasn't afraid of getting COVID-19.
"Everyone was really smart, socially distant and wore masks," she told the Chronicle.