The hottest weather of the year so far will push the wildfire threat to critical levels this week in much of California.
Temperatures will flirt with 100 degrees on multiple days from the San Joaquin Valley to the coast of Southern California.
Record high temperatures have been challenged and will be broken in California in many major cities including San Francisco, Sacramento, Redding, Fresno, Riverside, Long Beach, San Jose, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Diego.
For some locations, the hottest day will be Wednesday and for others, depending on local atmospheric conditions, the hottest day of the heat wave will be Thursday.
According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "Stiff north to northeast winds in many areas will average 15 to 30 mph, with locally higher gusts in canyons aligned to the northeast and north through Wednesday."
The combination of dry brush, low humidity, winds, sunshine and heat will push the wildfire danger to critical levels.
The Bernardo Wildfire forced the evacuation of more than 20,000 homes in San Diego on Tuesday, but that evacuation order has since been lifted.
Another fire ignited Wednesday near Carlsbad, California, 25 miles north of San Diego. In its wake, 30 homes were destroyed, and 15,000 residents were orders to evacuate, according to a statement issued by city officials. As of late Wednesday evening, damage was still being assessed. No major injuries have been reported.
Winds are forecast to ease Thursday and Friday.
The heat is forecast to ease this coming weekend into the following week, but more episodes of extreme heat with building drought are projected to continue well through the summer.
According to AccuWeather Long Range Expert Paul Pastelok, "The persistence of the pattern will lead to major problems for water resources for consumers and agriculture during the middle and latter part of the summer."
Pastelok expects drought and episodes of heat to build into the Northwest.
One such spell of heat will occur during the middle of this week with highs forecast to be well into the 80s around Portland, Oregon. Temperatures will reach the 80-degree mark around Seattle.
Remember to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids during the hot weather. If you must work during the hottest part of the day, during the midday and afternoon hours, be sure to take frequent breaks to rehydrate.
People are urged to be extremely careful with any sort of outdoor flames and power equipment. Never park your vehicle on high brush. The hot exhaust system can ignite that brush in minutes. Do not throw burning cigarettes outside of your vehicle.
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