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Excessive heat warning issued as triple-digit temperatures threaten L.A. area

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Summer is coming a week early to Southern California.

A heat wave that is blanketing the Southland will bring triple-digit temperatures, pushing the National Weather Service to issue an excessive heat warning from 10 a.m. Tuesday to 9 p.m. Friday in the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, not including the Santa Monica range.

The worst heat will likely bake the region Tuesday and Wednesday, with gradual cooling Thursday and into the weekend, meteorologist David Sweet with the weather service’s Oxnard office said.

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The hottest temperatures are expected in the inland parts of Los Angeles County, with Santa Clarita and Woodland Hills likely to reach 109 degrees Wednesday, and Lancaster slated for 111.

The coastline will also see unusually hot conditions, with 86 degrees expected in Ventura and Malibu on Tuesday and 97 degrees predicted for Long Beach.

While this week’s temperatures are just shy of reaching historic records, Sweet said the heat is still unprecedented for this time of year.

“It’s still very hot for June,” Sweet said.

A combination of hot air overhead and northerly winds is causing the above-normal temperatures, according to Sweet.

The winds are causing red flag conditions in southern Santa Barbara County, where gusts of 40 to 50 mph, plus low humidity, high heat and unseasonably dry fuels are creating an elevated fire risk, the weather service said.

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To stay cool in the coming days, officials say, people should drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms or shade as much as possible and not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.

Most Los Angeles public pools are opening just in time for the heat wave, with free time available from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 5 p.m. weekends, the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks announced.

Six of the last 10 years have had below-average rainfall, according to the Los Angeles Almanac. The latest heat wave underpins California’s increasingly dry environment, with a drought emergency blanketing 41 of the state’s 58 counties. Lakes have begun to dry up in the absence of adequate rainfall.

The drought is also raising the state’s fire risk. Wildfires have already broken out in several parts of the state, including the Flats fire that erupted Sunday, burning 400 acres in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

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