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On a sweltering Saturday, Southern Californians flocked to the coast, where the beach temperatures were considerably lower than the triple-digit ranges seen inland. Michelle Valles reports for the NBC4 News at 3 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2012.
Southern Californians sought relief on Saturday from a punishing heat wave that hit the region this week, prompting a group of people to fall ill at the Grove.
Several areas in the deserts and valleys recorded triple-digit temperatures Saturday afternoon, but forecasters said the region could see a cooling trend on Sunday and Monday as a high pressure system over the southwest states slowly weakens.
The heat was being blamed for a disturbance reported at 1:39 p.m. at The Grove in Los Angeles' Fairfax district, where a large concert was being played.
"It is a large group, but the crowd appears to be peaceful," said LAPD Officer Sara Faden. "There may have been some people in need of medical treatment due to the heat though."
An emailed update from the Los Angeles Fire Department at 3:30 p.m. Saturday said three girls and two women were treated and released by paramedics for possibly heat-aggravated mild illness.
Elsewhere in the LA area, the California Highway Patrol reported that one driver had fallen ill while stuck in 100-plus degree heat in a miles-long jam behind a big-rig crash on the Ventura (101) Freeway in Calabasas.
Some of the areas that saw triple-digit temps Saturday included Chatsworth, Woodland Hills, Riverside, Saugus, Lancaster.
Initial reports said three locations tied previous records for high temperatures: 101 in Burbank, 109 in Lancaster and 98 in Sandberg.
Los Angeles-area temperatures on Sunday were expected to be in the lower to mid 70s at the beaches to near 90 inland. On Monday, temperatures could be range from the upper 60s to mid 70s at the beaches to the mid 80s to lower 90s inland.
The San Fernando Valley could see temperatures range from a high of 91 to 102 on Sunday and Monday.
The heat, combined with drought-like conditions and a thunderstorm in the Inland Empire, had firefighters on alert. Several brush fires have broken out across Southern California.
Los Angeles city firefighters kept a brush fire Saturday in the Sepulveda Basin area to 4 acres. Another fire had grown to 30 acres between Beaumont and San Jacinto in Riverside County.
A lightning strike caused a 5-acre fire that was contained Saturday afternoon in the Phelan area in San Bernardino County.
Officials were weighing whether to lift evacuation orders that were in place Friday for about 200 households northeast of Palomar Mountain in San Diego County as firefighters battled a 1,800-acre fire there, Cal Fire officials said.
The fire started at 1 p.m. Thursday with a lightning strike near Chihuahua Valley Road and state Route 79, according to Cal Fire crews, who were in charge of fighting the fire.
Exacerbating the fire potential was a thunderstorm moving into the Riverside County area. Officials issued a severe thunderstorm warning -- capable of producing quarter-sized hail -- for the west central Riverside County areas of Moreno Valley, Hemet and Lakeview.
The warning suggests people move indoors.
"If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning," the bulletin read.
Recreation buildings and senior citizens rooms were being used as cooling centers Saturday and Sunday, as Los Angeles officials also planned to keep 33 seasonal pools open for three extra weeks because of the hot summer weather lingering over the city.
Senior centers and recreation centers in North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sunland, Sylmar, Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park will stay open until 9 p.m. Saturday, and will be opened for those special hours Sunday, said Los Angeles parks spokeswoman Andrea Epstein.
A list of cooling facilities in unincorporated county areas is available online. Within the city, information regarding specific locations and hours can be found by calling 3-1-1, by calling (213) 202-2700, or by going to www.laparks.org.
In Burbank, two cooling centers were established. The Buena Vista Library, 300 N. Buena Vista St., will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. The Central Library, 110 N. Glenoaks Blvd., will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Officials at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison each urged customers this week to conserve energy to prevent strain on the power grid.
A statewide Flex Alert -- a call to conserve electricity -- was in effect Friday but was cancelled for Saturday and Sunday.
With July on record being one of the hottest months in U.S. history and August proving sweltering so far, Children's Hospital Los Angeles offered tips for parents to help keep their children safe. Officials suggested dressing children in lightweight, light-colored, loose- fitting clothes; wearing a hat and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and drinking plenty of fluids every 15-20 minutes.
Hospital officials also suggested that people plan activities around cooler times of the day, for example between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., taking frequent rest breaks in a cool and shady area.