Heat Soars Again, 4th Straight Spare the Air Alert Issued As Fires Blaze Across West

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The fourth consecutive Spare the Air Alert has been issued for Sunday because of excessive smog expected in the Bay Area, according to regional air quality officials.

The alert, the 13th issued so far in 2017 by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, is the result of triple-digit temperatures inland and light winds combined with smoke from fires elsewhere in California and Oregon, air district officials said.

“Another day of extreme heat and wildfire smoke in the Bay Area has caused unhealthy air quality throughout the area,” air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement. “It’s important for Bay Area residents, especially children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions, to take precautions to protect their health.”

Marin County education officials are recommending that school administrators and sports directors cancel outdoor sporting activities in the county through Sunday.

In the South Bay, extreme heat on Friday sent Michelle Ogburn to a cooling center set up in Santa Clara’s North Branch Library, one of many that were opened throughout the state.

Ice-water stations were set up and dozens of people, many of them homeless, took shelter.

“I work from home and I live in an old mobile home with no air conditioning and not very good insulation,” said Ogburn, who lives in Sunnyvale. “Today it was very hot and I just couldn’t work.”

Cooling centers are available in Oakland at: the Asian branch of the public library at 388 Ninth St., the Chavez branch at 3301 East 12th St., Suite 271, the Dimond Branch at 3565 Fruitvale, the Piedmont Avenue Branch at 80 Echo Ave., and the main branch at 125 14th Street. For hours and times, visit the library website.

Also, the North Oakland Senior Center at 5714 MLK Jr. Way, the East Oakland Multi-Purpose Center at 9255 Edes Ave., the St. Vincent DePaul Center at 2272 San Pablo Ave. and the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center at 3301 East 12th St., Suite 201, are available.

Cooling centers will be open in San Francisco and all its city-operated pools will be free and open to residents, Mayor Ed Lee said.

Martin Luther King Pool at 5701 Third St., Sava Pool at 19th Avenue and Wawona Street, North Beach Pool at 651 Lombard Ave., Coffman Pool at 1701 Visitation Ave., Hamilton Pool at Geary Avenue and Steiner Street and Garfield Pool at 26th and Harrison streets are open and free.

For pool hours and schedules, visit the San Francisco Recreation & Parks website.

The following libraries have air conditioning: the San Francisco Main Library at 100 Larkin St., Mission Bay, 960 Fourth St., North Beach, 850 Columbus Ave., Potrero Hill, 1616 20th St.

Additional cooling centers are available at 1156 Valencia St., 360 Fourth St., 1450 Powell St. and at the Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St.

CHECK WEATHER FORECAST FOR YOUR TOWN

The West baked through the unofficial end of summer, as temperatures in some parts threatened to peak Saturday at levels not seen in decades and the wilting heat challenged crews battling wildfires across the region, including one that grew to become the largest in the history of Los Angeles.

The heat was so extreme that BART was running trains slower than normal to help engineers spot any warped tracks before hitting them.

Areas inland from the San Francisco Bay Area could reach 115 degrees, a temperature last seen in 1950, forecasters said. Temperatures in Sacramento were expected to shoot past 110.

While triple-digit highs in Southern California were forecast to drop into the 90s over Labor Day weekend, the heat created difficulties for crews fighting a fire that chewed through brush-covered mountains just north of downtown Los Angeles.

Several hundred firefighters worked to contain the blaze, which prompted mandatory or voluntary evacuations for 730 homes in Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale

No injuries have been reported, and one home has burned, officials said. At nearly 8 square miles, the fire had charred more land than any other in Los Angeles’ history, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

It burned near where a June wildfire came perilously close to hillside homes.

Resident Tracy Goldman said at noon Saturday that flames were about 200 feet from her home — where a fire burned across the street earlier in the summer.

“It’s very unsettling,” she said as she watched, already having packed her car in case officials ordered her street to evacuate.

Fire officials said that if winds do not pick up, they were confident they could confine the fire to slopes that have not burned in several decades.

The warmth extended up the West Coast and into mountain states, with excessive-heat warnings posted for southwest Oregon and lesser advisories in northwest Oregon.

Fire weather warnings were in effect for parts of Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana, where fires spanned more than 850 square miles.

In the Pacific Northwest, high temperatures and a lack of rain this summer have dried out vegetation that fed on winter snow and springtime rain. Officials warned of wildfire danger as hot, dry, smoky days were forecast across Oregon and Washington over the holiday weekend.

A fire about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southeast of Seattle has burned more than 23 square miles and led to new evacuation notices Saturday. About 3,800 homes were threatened, authorities said.

Dozens of wildfires in Oregon were sending up large plumes of smoke, causing disruptions in holiday travel as roads close and shutting down camping areas.

The weeklong heat wave was generated by high pressure over the West, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasters said more heat could be expected when remnants of Tropical Storm Lidia move north from Mexico’s Baja California during the weekend.

© Copyright 2017 CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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