In response to temperatures in Southern California so high that the National Weather Service has issued a “red-flag” warning, the City of West Hollywood will continue to operate its cooling center at Plummer Park’s Community Center Senior Lounge through Wednesday. The cooling center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The community center is at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
Another resource for West Hollywood residents is the West Hollywood Library, which serves as a Los Angeles County cooling center. It is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Additional information about Los Angeles County Cooling Centers is available online at www.colapublib.org/coolingcenters.
The red-flag alert signifies a high risk of wildfire because of the heat wave, gusty Santa Ana winds and low humidity. It will be in effect through Wednesday, with the most critical fire conditions expected Monday through Tuesday, according to a National Weather Service statement. A risk of wildfire also exists in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, the NWS reported.
“The duration, strength and widespread nature of this Santa Ana wind event combined with the extreme heat and very dry fuels will bring the most dangerous fire weather conditions that Southwest California has seen in the past few years,” NWS warned in the statement. “If fire ignition occurs, there will be the potential for very rapid spread of wildfire” and “extreme fire behavior,” which could lead to “a threat to life and property.”
The red flag warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, in the forests that spread over the mountains — the Angeles National Forest in L.A. County and Ventura County’s Los Padres National Forest — and in the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, and the Los Angeles coastal zone, which includes beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, Downtown L.A. and the Hollywood Hills. The Antelope Valley was the only L.A. County region not under a red flag warning.
NWS forecasters said north-to-northwest winds of 15 to 30 mph gusting to 35 to 40 mph would blow through the San Gabriel valleys and the Angeles National Forest through Monday evening, rising to 20 to 35 mph with gusts of 50 to 60 mph Tuesday. At the same time, the humidity level will be between 7% and 15% and the temperature in the lower 90s. Roughly similar conditions will prevail in other areas under a red flag warning, although valley temperatures will be in the mid to high 90s.
“With these prolonged weather conditions and the very dry fuels/vegetation, extreme fire behavior is likely if any fire ignition begins, threatening life and property,” warned an NWS statement. “The public should be very, very careful with any potential ignition sources such as welding and brush clearing equipment, as well as campfires and cigarettes.”
The weather service stressed the health risks arising from high heat and urged residents to protect themselves and those around them, including by never leaving people or pets in parked cars, whose interiors can quickly heat up to lethal temperatures, even with windows cracked open.
In response to the forecasted heat, the Long Beach Unified School District announced that all of its schools will be on a “minimum day schedule,” meaning students will be released early today and on Tuesday. Parents were urged to contact individual schools for information about exact release times.
The City of West Hollywood’s cooling center is available for quiet activities. People using the cooling center are encouraged to bring books or board games. Staff members at Plummer Park are available to direct people to the Senior Lounge.
The city provides free transportation to Plummer Park and to the West Hollywood Library through its CityLine service. CityLine is an alternative to the larger bus system and all shuttles are ADA-accessible. CityLine operates Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and shuttles arrive approximately every 30 minutes. For additional information and a detailed route map, visit www.weho.org/cityline. Route maps are also available on CityLine shuttles and at West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. at Sweetzer.
For more information regarding the City of West Hollywood’s cooling center, call (323) 848-6308. For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.
The NWS forecast sunny weather Monday and highs of 87 on Mount Wilson; 89 in Palmdale; 90 in Lancaster; 93 in Avalon; 95 in Saugus; 99 at LAX; 101 in San Gabriel; 102 in Downtown L.A., Pasadena and Burbank; 103 in Woodland Hills; and 104 104 in Long Beach. At 3 p.m. today the temperature was 104 degrees in West Hollywood. Tuesday’s temperatures will be similar, though Tuesday’s will slip by around six degrees, ushering a cooling trend.