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Weather conditions cause Flex Alert, increased fire risk

It’s another day of dangerous heat here in Southern California. An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect through Sunday night.

“It’s hot outside. I spend most of my time inside during the day,” said Cathedral City resident Richard Sanders-Ferriera.

“If you’re going out and about, hydrate. Take care of yourself. Make sure that you’re staying healthy and not overheating yourself,” said Shane Reichardt, PIO for Riverside County Emergency Management.

In addition to the heat, the potential for dry lightning in the mountains increases the risk of wildfires.

“Know where you need to go if there’s a wildfire and you need to evacuate. Have a plan,” Reichardt said.

Cal ISO, manager of the state’s power grid, has issued a flex alert tonight from 5 to 10 p.m., urging residents to conserve energy. That means turning thermostats up to 78 and avoiding using large appliances and electronics during that time frame.

“There’s a lot of things that go into this, what I call, preparedness mindset. And it’s just knowing that there are hazards about in our community and trying to make sure that you’re prepared for them,” Reichardt said.

Emergency blackouts could happen if Californians do not watch their energy consumption. Like last summer, when California saw Stage 3 emergency blackouts for the first time in 20 years.

“It would be horrible if there was a power outage right now. Some of these people would not survive,” Sanders-Ferriera said.

“People that don’t have the ability to run their air conditioning really do need to look in advance at where they’re going to go, what they’re going to do and know the signs and symptoms of somebody that’s having a heat emergency," Reichardt said.

“We talk about a public health issue. This issue is very significant,” said Governor Newsom.

However, Gov. Newsom says the state's energy capacity has been improving.

“We had 200 megawatts of storage last year, we have about 800 megawatts as I stand here today, we'll have 2000 megawatts of storage by September,” Gov. Newsom said.

Flex Alert was extended a second day through Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Riverside County has numerous cooling centers for residents to utilize if needed.


Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.

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