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Feelin' hot, hot, hot! Another scorcher is forecast; thunderstorms, lightning, hail, brush fires are possible [Updated]

July 16, 2010 |  7:27 am

Another broiling day is forecast for Southern California on Friday, bringing with it chances of more thunderstorms, lightning and brush fires. More photos.

See graphic on how the heat affects the body The National Weather Service has extended its extreme heat advisory though at least Saturday night. Triple-digit temperatures are forecast for valley and inland areas. The National Weather Service said residents should be prepared for anything in the afternoon -- flash flooding in desert and mountain areas, thunderstorms, hail -- and lightning that could cause brush fires.

[Updated at 8 a.m.: Scattered showers hit parts of Long Beach, San Pedro and surrounding cities Friday morning amid hot, humid conditions. The weather service said high-temperature records might be set Friday or Saturday.]

On Thursday, thunderstorms sparked brush fires and caused flash flooding and hail even as inland areas sweltered amid triple-digit temperatures and high humidity.

In Los Angeles County, a powerful afternoon thunderstorm struck the Antelope Valley as fire crews responded to dozens of incidents, including small brush fires and a rescue of two people trapped in mud after a heavy downpour, officials said.

In Riverside County, where more than a dozen brush fires erupted, three sheriff's deputies suffered minor injuries while they were rescuing a woman from a trailer as flames burned near homes in Lake Elsinore, officials said.

Multiple brush fires also broke out in San Diego County.

"We've got small fires and larger fires," Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Cheri Patterson said. "We're trying to catch up. It's been hectic."

The largest had scorched at least 700 acres near Temecula and was being battled by more than 100 firefighters. As of Thursday evening, no structures were threatened in that fire. In Sage, a community east of Murrieta Hot Springs, voluntary evacuations were issued for 80 residents and 15 animals in a blaze that had charred at least 75 acres, officials said. That fire was almost contained by Friday morning .

The National Weather Service issued a significant weather advisory in Riverside County because of strong thunderstorms that barreled across the San Jacinto Mountains. Thunderstorm and flash flood advisories were also issued in the Antelope Valley. The agency advised people in inland areas across Southern California to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and to drink water to avoid heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

In Los Angeles County, temperatures reached 106 in Chatsworth, 110 in Acton and 107 in Palmdale, according to the weather service. Ojai in Ventura County also reached 107 degrees.

Hemet in Riverside County hit 111 degrees and Lake Elsinore reached 110, the weather service said. The heat and high humidity were expected to last through the weekend, the weather service said.

In rural northeastern San Diego County, mid-afternoon lightning strikes caused four brush fires. The largest occurred in the Scissors Crossing area east of Julian and spread more than 100 acres. The fires were not threatening any structures, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Within the San Diego city limits, a fire in a brushy canyon in the University Heights neighborhood forced the evacuation of about 20 homes and a nearby hotel. The fire sent smoke over Interstate 8 and portions of Mission Valley, but firefighters and water-dropping helicopters stopped the advance of the fire before it reached the rim.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Crowds at Seal Beach on Thursday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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