Californias new normal is a season of forced power shutdowns, mandatory evacuations and breathing problems
The Los Angeles weather forecast has been consistent this week: sunny, hot and potentially deadly.
LA is known around the world as a beachy paradise, with palm trees lining the streets and perpetually pleasant weather. But the climate crisis has increasingly turned some days into a special kind of hell. For the countys 10 million residents, the month of October, when blistering heat and dangerous winds combine to make the threat of catastrophic fires a daily reality, has become particularly worrisome.
Across southern California this week, residents were coping with what scientists and government officials say is the new normal in autumn: debilitating heat, an endless fire season, mandatory mass evacuations and forced power shutdowns to prevent new blazes.
A heatwave this week turned the city of Anaheim, home to Disneyland, into the hottest place in the United States. The Tick fire forced 50,000 people to flee their homes, many in the middle of the night. And with strong winds and temperatures nearing 100F (38C), authorities are bracing for continued fire hazards heading into the weekend. The utility company Southern California Edison proactively shut off power to more than 24,000 customers in five counties on Thursday and could cut power to more over the weekend.