Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

First significant heat wave of the year expected to intensify today

SAN DIEGO - The first significant heat wave of the year is expected to intensify today in inland San Diego County.

Coastal areas should be spared the brunt of the hottest weather expected Thursday through Saturday and possibly Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Oceanside and other coast communities should enjoy highs near 80 today, while further inland in Escondido, El Cajon and Julian peak temperatures will be closer to 90 or just above.

Further east, in desert communities such as Borrego Springs, the highs will be about 110 or higher, according to the Weather Service.

''The peak heat is coming in the next few days,'' Weather Service Meteorologist Greg Martin San Diego said. ''This is probably going to last through Saturday and Sunday.''

For desert areas where temperatures are expected to crest over 110, the Weather Service routinely issues excessive heat warnings.

''Excessively hot temperatures can be stressful to animals and humans . . . making it hard for the body to acclimate and remain hydrated,'' the Weather Service said in a statement.

''Extremely warm overnight low temperatures do not allow the body to cool down properly overnight . . . and can make extreme heat even more dangerous,'' an excessive heat watch statement said.

Tips for beating the heat include:

-- never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed vehicles because temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels;

-- wear light, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and a wide- brimmed hat;

-- drink water or sports drinks often - don't wait until you are thirsty - and avoid drinking alcohol;

-- during peak heat hours, stay in an air-conditioned area; if your home is not air-conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries; and

-- avoid unnecessary exertion outside during peak sun hours.

The weather today could be a factor in firefighting efforts at Camp Pendleton, where a blaze sparked Tuesday by military training exercises scorched an estimated 2,700 acres.

The blaze was considered 60 percent contained by sundown and full control on remnants of the fire and the burned areas was expected sometime today.


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