A blistering heat wave has broken a 131-year-old record in Los Angeles. The National Weather Service reports that the temperature hit 96 degrees Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, beating a record of 95 degrees for the date set in 1886, the AP reports. Other records for the day fell at the weather service office in Oxnard and nearby Camarillo, both in Ventura County. Southern California is under an "excessive heat warning," as posted by the National Weather Service, with triple-digit temps expected in valleys and inland areas. The NWS, which calls the conditions "dangerous and potentially life-threatening," says the "elderly, children, outdoor workers, and those without access to air conditioning" are especially vulnerable.
The heat has been especially hard on the dairy industry, which has had to deal with livestock deaths, and the hot, dry winds have also exacerbated wildfires in the region. A wildfire burning in Oroville, in the Sierra Nevada foothills north of Sacramento, had destroyed 10 structures as of noon EDT Saturday, with five residents and one firefighter suffering minor injuries. Meanwhile, a wildfire that forced evacuations in Santa Barbara County doubled in size overnight amid high temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds, burning more than 9 square miles outside Santa Maria as of late morning on Saturday. More than 1,000 firefighters were deployed to that blaze, which sent plumes over northern Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo County and led to evacuation orders for about 300 residents. (Read more Los Angeles stories.)