Brush fires flare up around Southern California as temperatures peak

Screenshot from NBC4

A series of small brush fires erupted around Los Angeles Tuesday as temperatures peaked in the triple digits, humidity ran low and the Santa Ana winds blew through.

The 210 Freeway was closed to traffic due to a brush fire near Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino County, according to the state Department of Transportation. The fire broke out around 11 a.m. near the intersection of the 210 and the 15.


The day started out extra hot and dry as winds, known as the Santa Anas, kept overnight temperatures in the 80s and 90s in some areas following a siege of triple-digit heat on Monday. Relative humidity levels also stayed low, leaving vegetation susceptible to fire.

A half-acre brush fire that broke out along the 118 Freeway in Granada Hills also temporarily stopped westbound traffic early in the day. That fire, near Woodley Avenue, has since been knocked down, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

A separate fire scorched 2 acres of grass and brush near Hansen Dam in Lake View Terrace. The fire's forward progress was stopped and ground crews were working to contain the flames amid erratic winds, fire officials said.

Another fire was knocked down in Sylmar. That fire, in the 15800 block of McQueen Street, damaged two vehicles.

Downtown Los Angeles passed the date's 108-year-old record of 99 degrees before midday and by early afternoon was at 103 degrees.

Craig Digure, 46, who has lived in Los Angeles for 11 months, found it was just too hot at Echo Park Lake near downtown.

"It's kind of crazy. I'm from Minnesota so I'm not used to this in October. It's 40 degrees back home, almost ready to snow," he told the AP. "I thought summer was over. But it's just not seeming to end."

Even proximity to the ocean was no relief: Surfing mecca Huntington Beach also surpassed 100 degrees.

An updated forecast raised expected temperatures for the first game of the World Series at Dodger Stadium by a few degrees. The weather service said it would be 100 degrees at 4 p.m., dipping just a bit to 97 at game time and still a warm 82 at 8 p.m.

Many schools were put on short-day schedules because of the high heat.

Santa Ana winds can occur any time of year in Southern California but are common in the fall. They have been involved in some of the most destructive wildfires that have hit the region because of the high wind speeds and extreme dryness.

The cause of the fires remain under investigation. No evacuations or injuries have been reported.

This story has been updated.