Al Seib, Los Angeles Times
With California experiencing weather patterns like never before, San Diego has been one of the many cities in the state that has dealt with record-breaking heat.
Excessive heat warnings were no stranger throughout August as it was one of the hottest months on record for Californians with temperatures reaching record breaking highs. In late August, San Diego temperatures reached triple digits at a record 100 degrees, breaking the record set in Sept. 2011 at 97 degrees.
Unfortunately, these weather patterns have created the perfect concoction for brush fires, and the Valley Fire has been burning throughout San Diego County. It is now 87% contained according to the Valley Fire website.
So although the heat makes for a perfect beach day, San Diego County advised to stay inside, stay hydrated and avoid long exposure in the sun (and now smoke). Children, seniors, pets, and those vulnerable should especially be attended too during extreme heat.
In hopes to further ensure safety during this time, San Diego County set up different “Cool Zones,” sites around the county to allow those to beat the heat while saving energy costs. These zones are centers with air-conditioning in place so that seniors and those who need it can visit, lowering individual costs for others. More information regarding the Cool Zones and the sites locations can be found here.
The fire began Sept. 5 and still continues to burn, worsening the air quality and resulting in a hazy sunshine. Smoke has wreaked havoc on the air quality as the Air Quality Index (AQI) reads almost three times worse than regular, healthy air.
According to KPBS, haze from the smoke is expected to continue as will the fight to contain the Valley Fire. With the peak of fire season in California being in the months of July through November, temperatures are expected to continue to cool down throughout the end of September with an incoming Pacific trough according to the National Weather Services (NWS). These conditions will help fight smoke and haze and lower the dangerous fire conditions.