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October heat wave brings triple-digit temps to Southern California

Southern Californians head to Huntington Beach during a late heat wave on Monday, Oct.1, 2012.
October 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Though the calendar reads Oct. 1, Mother Nature is apparently stuck in August as a heat wave continues to scorch the Southland on Monday.

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Temperatures hit 100 and higher in many parts of Southern California. The city of Moreno Valley announced several cooling center locations that will open its doors Monday to residents across the Inland Empire and desert communities.

Red flag warnings were also in effect for the Santa Clarita Valley, Los Angeles and Ventura mountains on Monday and Tuesday, when conditions were expected to be the hottest and driest of the week.

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With the extreme heat and dry conditions, fire danger is high. There is plenty of dry brush waiting to burn around Los Angeles, and because of the high heat and low humidity, the Los Angeles Fire Department has added 10 additional fire engines.

"We're just putting ourselves ready, we're not putting our guard down, and we ask that of the people of Los Angeles: Please don't let your guard down. Be aware of these high temperatures and this very dry brush around your homes," said Capt. Jaime Moore of the city fire department.

People are also asked to be cautious with cigarette butts and other such items. Gun fire was blamed for starting a fire in Banning over the weekend. Firefighters expected to have flames fully contained by late Monday morning.

The coast didn't see any relief, either. By 11 a.m., Santa Monica had reached 85 degrees.

"I've lived here over 30 years, I think it's the warmest summer I've experienced," said Bob Wolf of Santa Monica. "My backyard hit 91 degrees one day. It's really unbelievable."

According to the National Weather Service, relief from the heat is not far off. Temps should drop slightly on Tuesday, and greater cooling is expected Wednesday through the weekend.

In the meantime, health officials advise Southland residents to remain cautious in the heat, and to take extra care of the elderly, children and pets. Residents should also stay hydrated, wear loose, light clothing and avoid vigorous physical activity during peak sun hours.

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