Southern California, Sierra Nevada Heat Wave This Week

July 10, 2012

Interior areas of Southern California and parts of the Sierra Nevada are in for high heat and increased fire danger this week, forecasters said Monday.

The National Weather Service said a strong, upper-level high centered over the Great Basin will bring triple-digit heat to the valleys and desert areas beginning Monday and peaking on Tuesday and Wednesday. Excessive heat warnings will be in effect most of Tuesday across the deserts, the NWS said.

Forecasters also warned that the heat, combined with very low humidity levels, will elevate the fire danger. Dry lightning will add to fire worries as a flow of monsoonal moisture arrives from the southeast later in the week, affecting Southern California and the southern Sierra Nevada.

In the Eastern Sierra, temperatures could top 100 degrees in the next few days, accompanied by strong winds and the chance of rainless thunderstorms as early as Tuesday, said state fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson.

“We don’t need lightning in that area,” she said. “That could be a very bad thing.”

Citing the critical fire weather and the dryness of vegetation, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Monday suspended burning permits and other uses of open fire on state responsibility lands in San Diego and Imperial counties. Use of campfires was restricted to established sites in campgrounds.

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