The Holiday fire destroys homes in Goleta, California, on 6 July 2018. Photo: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Sarah Parvini, Ruben Vives, and Hailey Branson-Potts
7 July 2018

(Los Angeles Times) – A record-setting heat wave sparked brush fires across Southern California that destroyed homes and forced thousands to evacuate from Santa Barbara to San Diego county.

The heat wave, coupled with moderate winds, helped fan nearly a dozen fires across the region, the most serious being in Alpine and Goleta.

Hundreds of residents fled the West Willows community near Alpine, with some saying they didn’t know whether their homes were still standing. […]

On the Santa Barbara County coast, powerful sundowner winds helped fuel the Holiday fire, which burned several homes Friday night in the hills above Goleta and threatened more than 100 others, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Temperatures remained around 100 degrees as the fire fight moved into the night. Powerful evening winds were pushing the blaze, which authorities said began as a structure fire, in different directions. […]

Outside the fire zone, it was a day of triple-digit misery that left sweaty Californians to the mercy of their air conditioning or their resolve to tough it out.

By 1 p.m., the temperature hit 115 degrees in Woodland Hills, breaking the previous daily record of 106 degrees set on July 6, 1976, according to the National Weather Service. It was just four degrees shy of the hottest temperature ever recorded in Los Angeles County: 119 degrees on July 22, 2006. That also happened to be in Woodland Hills.

Several places broke heat records for the day, including downtown Los Angeles, which hit 108 degrees. Van Nuys and Burbank airports set all-time records of 117 and 114 degrees, respectively. The San Diego County community of Ramona reached its highest recorded temperature — 112 degrees — by 11 a.m., forecasters said, and later hit 115 degrees.

The broiling temperatures were the result of a strong high-pressure system combined with offshore winds blowing from the desert to the ocean, said Todd Hall, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Like many Southern Californians, Hall does not have air conditioning at home and was not looking forward to leaving his nice, cool office.

By midmorning Friday, it was already 105 degrees in Los Feliz as Zeneith Evenstar heaved a shopping cart full of her belongings uphill.

A petite homeless woman with graying hair, Evenstar, 56, said she knew how to keep cool after seven years of living on the streets. She pours water on herself as she walks her route collecting cans. She spends afternoons at her church. And she knows the patches of shade where she can rest and security guards won’t chase her away.

“I just keep going,” Evenstar said. “What can you do?” [more]

Homes destroyed by fires and temperature records shattered as heat wave slams Southern California


Record high temperatures in Southern California, 6 July 2018. Graphic: NWS

By Jason Samenow
6 July 2018

(The Washington Post) – As predicted, new daily, monthly, and record highs were set throughout Southern California on Friday because of a monster heat dome sprawled over the region.

The temperature at UCLA soared to 111 degrees, the hottest ever recorded there, surpassing the previous record of 109 degrees, set 20 September 1939, the National Weather Service reported. Records at UCLA date back to 1933.

While the temperature at UCLA set a record, the high in downtown Los Angeles, 108 degrees, fell short of its all-time mark of 113 from September 2010. Still, the 108-degree reading crushed the July 6 daily record of 94, set in 1992.

In addition to UCLA, other locations that set records in Southern California include:

  • Hollywood Burbank Airport, 114 degrees.
  • Van Nuys Airport, 117 degrees.
  • Ramona, 117 degrees.
  • Santa Ana, 114 degrees.
  • Riverside, 118 degrees (tying record from 1925).

The National Weather Service offices serving Los Angeles and San Diego produced the handy summary tables below, which highlight a number of the notable records set. [more]

High temperatures set records throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles

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