County Public Health officials extend heat alert

Bobby Block / The Signal
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County Public Health officials extended a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for various parts of Southern California, including the Santa Clarita Valley.

The SCV area is looking at highs between 98 and 103 degrees, which is about 10 degrees above normal for this time of year, according to Joe Sirard, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard. 

“It can get extremely hot at this time of year,” said Sirard, mentioning the area will often see the  hottest weather in September. “These temperatures are hot but they aren’t record hot … We can get to 105 or 110 on some occasions.”

As a result of the local heat advisory, which is scheduled to remain in effect through Thursday, precautions should be taken to avoid heat-related illness, especially by children who have sensitive medical conditions, individuals who participate in outdoor activities and older adults, caretakers of infants and children, Los Angeles County Health Department officials said in a news release Wednesday.

“When temperatures are high, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People who are frail or have chronic health conditions may develop serious health problems leading to death if they are exposed to high temperatures over several days,” Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health officer, said in the release. “Thus, it is critically important to never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning and particularly in vehicles, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open, as temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels.”

Davis added, “If you have an elderly or infirm neighbor who is without air conditioning, make sure that they get to a cooling center or other air-conditioned space between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.”

Residents can find a list of cooling centers and other information on heat-related illnesses by visiting publichealth.lacounty.gov or by calling 211, according to the news release. 

“While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out and check on others — in particular those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of high temperatures, including children, the elderly and their pets,” Davis said. “High temperatures are not just an inconvenience, they can be dangerous and even deadly. But we can protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors, if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated.”

Temperatures are expected to be in the upper-80s to mid-90s on Saturday, “so I guess we are in a cooling trend at this point after tomorrow,” according to Sirard. “Today and tomorrow will be the hotter days, but (after that) it will still be hot enough that you want to take precautions.”

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