Weekly News Roundup for Friday, July 5th, 2024

Flames from the Thompson fire in Butte County, California, a top news story this week

A roundup of the biggest news stories in California this week…

Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Thompson Fire

On July 3, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in Butte County to support the response to the Thompson Fire, which has burned 3,002 acres and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents. The Thompson Fire began burning in Butte County on July 2, 2024 and has prompted evacuation orders for thousands. The Governor announced that California secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help ensure the availability of resources to suppress the fast-moving fire.

According to Cal Fire, the Thompson Fire is 46% contained and firefighters continue to strengthen containment and control lines. An excessive heat warning remains in effect, with temperatures reaching into the range of 104 to 112 degrees F. Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue through Sunday and into early next week. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a consumer alert following Governor Newsom’s declaration of a state of emergency for Butte County due to the Thompson Fire. The alert reminds all Californians that price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal. Californians who believe they have been the victim of price gouging should report it to their local authorities or to the Attorney General at oag.ca.gov/report.

Excessive Heat Warnings Issued for Central Valley and Los Angeles County

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for a large portion of central California on Friday, July 5, 2024. The warning will be in effect until Saturday, July 13. Parts of the region covered by the advisory include the west sides of Fresno and King counties, most of the San Joaquin Valley, the Mariposa and Madera foothills, the lower Sierra foothills, Yosemite Valley, and Frazier Mountain communities. Cities covered by the advisory include Fresno, Visalia, Merced, Tulare and Bakersfield.

The Los Angeles County Health Officer also issued an excessive heat warning as high temperatures have been forecast for much of the Antelope Valley, San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Clarita Valley, San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica Mountains and Santa Susana Mountains, through Monday, July 8. The county also issued a heat advisory for the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles Inland Coast and Palos Verdes Hills through Sunday, July 7. 

The National Weather Service advisory states that this level of rare, long-duration extreme heat with little to no overnight relief affects everyone, especially those without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration. The impacts will affect health systems, heat-sensitive industries and infrastructure. Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors. Take extra precautions when outside. Try to limit outdoor activities to early morning or evening. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency – call 911.

Related: The Washington Post reports that the current brutal heat wave is worsening fire danger

Two Killed During 4th July Stabbing Spree in Huntington Beach

A man stabbed multiple people in Huntington Beach on the Fourth of July, killing two and injuring three others. The stabbing took place during a gathering of families and neighbors who were watching the city’s fireworks display. Shortly after 11 p.m. Huntington Beach Police responded to reports of assault with a deadly weapon in the residential neighborhood a few blocks from the beach. A city spokesperson said a 26-year-old Huntington Beach resident has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. (Source: PBS News)

Palm Springs and Other SoCal Cities Break All-Time High Temperature Records

On July 5, the National Weather Service confirmed a record high temperature of 124 degrees F in Palm Springs, according to the Desert Sun. The previous record was 123 degrees, a figure recorded several times, most recently on June 17, 2021. Five other towns and cities in Southern California also broke high-temperature records on July 5: Idyllwild reached 104 degrees, San Jacinto 114 degrees, Borrego 119 degrees, Campo 109 degrees and Palomar Mountain hit 97 degrees.

Fast-Food Jobs Increase in California Following Minimum Wage Hike

Within the first two months of a $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers being implemented in California, the number of fast-food jobs has increased statewide. The Los Angeles Times writes that fast-food industry claims of lost jobs following the minimum wage increase are based on false numbers. Fox News Business reports an increase of 10,000 jobs in California’s fast-food industry from March through May, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

California Incorporates its 483rd City, the First in Over a Decade

SFGate reports that California has its newest city – Mountain House. The formerly unincorporated community in the Bay Area county of San Joaquin has a population of around 30,000. On Monday, it officially became the 483rd city in California. The community voted on cityhood in March, with 90% in favor of the move. Mountain House is the first new city to be incorporated in California in over a decade. The state’s second-newest city, Jurupa Valley in Riverside County, incorporated in 2011.

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