LOS ANGELES (AP) – Southern California reeled in grueling heat that had firefighters on high alert and World Series fans sweltering through Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.
About 20 heat records for the day were broken Tuesday on the second day of a heat wave. Temperatures were only expected to drop a few degrees Wednesday, with mid-80s to 90s in the mountains and deserts and 90s to 101 elsewhere.
Even so, a high-pressure system and hot, dry Santa Ana winds could see more records fall, the National Weather Service said, warning of extreme fire danger through the day and evening.Despite a slight cooling trend, temperatures will remain higher than normal through the week, the agency predicted.
With the state’s deadliest fires in Northern California barely tackled, crews scrambled Tuesday to douse even the smallest blazes that erupted on southern hillsides full of dangerously dry grass and brush.
Several fires erupted Tuesday, but many were quickly doused as aircraft deluged the flames with water and bright red fire retardant. A midafternoon fire blazed through more than 100 acres of thick vegetation of rural Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles before firefighters stopped its spread. No homes were threatened.
Record high temperatures were recorded from Santa Maria, more than 100 miles north of Los Angeles, all the way south to San Diego.
Proximity to the ocean was no relief from the heat: Surfing mecca Huntington Beach surpassed 100 degrees.
Downtown Los Angeles topped out at 104 degrees in the early afternoon, toppling the 108-year-old record of 99 for the date.
Craig Digure, 46, who has lived in Los Angeles for 11 months, found it was just too hot to sun himself at Echo Park Lake near downtown.
“It’s kind of crazy. I’m from Minnesota, so I’m not used to this in October. It’s 40 degrees back home, almost ready to snow,” he said. “I thought summer was over. But it’s just not seeming to end.”
It was 103 degrees at first pitch in the World Series, although much of Dodger Stadium was shaded from the setting sun. Los Angeles powered past the Houston Astros 3-1.
Keeping with the theme, the stadium organist played 1960s hits “Heat Wave” and “Summer in the City” as Houston warmed up.