San Diego

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Increases Staffing Amid Heat Wave

The heat wave is expected to start Sunday morning, and last through Wednesday night

As a heat wave rolls through San Diego County and other parts of Southern California, the fire department has increased staffing amid the high-risk fire conditions.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said an excessive heat warning would be in effect for San Diego County deserts, including Borrego Springs, from 10 a.m. Sunday through 10 p.m. Wednesday. During this heat wave, temperatures in the desert are forecasted to hit between 100 and 116 degrees on Sunday and 108 to 114 degrees Monday through Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the NWS said San Diego County mountains – including the communities of Julian and Pine Valley – will be under a heat advisory from 10 a.m. Sunday to 10 p.m. Wednesday. In these areas, high temperatures are expected to be between 94 to 102 degrees.

With hot weather and low humidity in the forecast, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) is increasing the number of on-duty fire crews as of Sunday.

SDFD Chief Brian Fennessy said this staffing move is an effort to keep fires from threatening lives and property. Residents can prepare for wildfires by visiting the department's Ready, Set, Go! website.

The conditions could cause heat-related illness, so people are advised to stay hydrated, stay out of the sun and never leave children or pets unattended in hot cars.

California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) has advised employers that shade must be available at all times to outdoor workers when temperatures reach more than 79 degrees.

"Heat illness can be prevented and providing shade and encouraging workers to take short breaks is one of the keys," said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum in a press release. "It also allows employers to monitor for signs of heat illness."

Cal/Osha also recommends workers sip one 8-ounce cup of water every 15 minutes and avoid soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, iced tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.

Other techniques to avoid heat-related illnesses are to try to limit activities to early morning or evening hours, wear sunscreen, wear light-colored and loose clothing, avoid heavy or hot meals, and gradually let your body acclimate to the heat, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NWS said gradual cooling is possible during the latter part of next week.

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