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Fire threat level raised for Angeles National Forest amid higher temperatures

July 09, 2012
(Times Community…)

With vegetation drying out and warmer temperatures bearing down on the Southland, officials today raised the fire threat level for Angeles National Forest to “very high.”

U.S. Forest Service officials are asking the more than 1 million people who are expected to visit Angeles National Forest “to use common sense'' and be aware of the increased risks of sparking a fire.

Open wood and charcoal fires will only be allowed in developed campgrounds and picnic areas where fire rings and grills are available. Gas and propane-powered stoves and grills are permitted in backcountry areas with a free California Campfire Permit, according to the Forest Service.

The fire danger warning comes as weather forecasters warn of triple-digit temperatures this week.

Forecasters believe Woodland Hills will see some of the warmest weather in the area, with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees throughout the week, weather specialist Stuart Seto told The Times.

On Tuesday and Wednesday — the days anticipated to be the hottest of the heat wave — Woodland Hills could see 102-degree weather.

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Burbank and Pasadena are expected to remain in the 90-degree range throughout the week, and downtown Los Angeles will likely see temperatures in the upper 80s.

Seto said lower humidity levels coupled with hotter temperatures will increase the fire risk.

Officials also are concerned about heat-related illnesses and advise people to stay hydrated and stick to cool spots.

"The main threat is that it's going to be an extended period [of warm weather]," Seto said. "The first day or so, everybody may be enjoying it, but by Wednesday they'll be like, 'Ugh.'"

-- Jason Wells, with Kate Mather at the Los Angeles Times

Following Jason Wells on Twitter and Google+

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