Wildfire threats increase in Southern California amid triple-digit heat

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Temperatures in the triple digits and hot, gusty winds are making for “critical fire weather conditions” in Southern California on Monday, forecasters warned.

The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings and fire weather watches across Southern California, stretching San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties until Wednesday evening. The service said temperatures hovering around 100 degrees on Monday and Tuesday could break records for some areas.

“We’re going into an exceptionally hot stretch of weather coming up over the next several days,” predicted Frank Giannasca, senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

California firefighters began mobilizing additional personnel, fire engines, fire crews and aircraft to respond to more fires even as the state has been experiencing weeks of devastating blazes in the north, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said in a statement Friday.

Cal Fire said that this has been “one of the deadliest and most destructive weeks in California’s history.”

Five thousand firefighters were battling 10 large blazes throughout the state as of Monday, according to Cal Fire in a tweet. They listed at least 42 people dead and more than 8,400 structures destroyed since the fires first broke out north of San Francisco in California wine country on Oct. 8.

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