Extreme heat warning and unhealthy air quality expected this weekend

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By Claire Schlaman

For The Signal

The weekend forecast calls for high heat and a caution for those sensitive to air quality problems, weather officials warned Friday.

“During the last heat wave, we had high pressure lingering over the top of our area. It was chased away with the cooler temperatures from the last couple of weeks, but now it’s coming back. This heat wave will not be as strong as the last time, but with the high pressure beginning to build over on top of Santa Clarita, it is enough to get temperatures into the high 90s,” said Kathy Hoxsie of the National Weather Service. 

The weather is expected to extend from Sunday through Wednesday. 

“Drink plenty of water, dress in light, loose clothing, use protective sunscreen, limit sun exposure during mid-day hours, do not leave infants, children, or pets in parked cars, and provide plenty of water for your pets,” said Fire Capt. Ron Harelson from the L.A. County Fire Department in a prepared statement. 

With soaring temperatures and smoke from the Bobcat Fire, unhealthy air quality is expected. 

“It is difficult to tell where smoke, ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of these particles in the air, so we ask everyone to remember that smoke and ash can be harmful to health, even for people who are healthy,” Muntu Davis, health officer for Los Angeles County, said in a prepared statement.

If you can smell or see smoke, it is best to limit your time outside. In areas with visible smoke, soot, or ash, people can participate in indoor activities provided the air conditioning is recirculating air from inside the building. 

The Santa Clarita Valley’s cooling centers will be closed this weekend, so it is important to plan accordingly and make sure to have accommodations for keeping cool. 

The L.A. County Public Health Department emphasizes that residents should wear a mask and practice proper social distancing guidelines when going out to continue reducing the spread of COVID-19, even in the hot weather. 

For more information and resources regarding the heat wave, visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/climatechange/ExtremeHeat.htm

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