Find a cooling station near you to beat the heat during the scorching holiday weekend

Panorama City, CA - July 03: Signage directs people to an "augmented" cooling centers to help people escape the heat in what is expected to be an excessively hot Fourth of July weekend at the Mid-Valley Senior Citizen Center on Wednesday, July 3, 2024 in Panorama City, CA. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
A sign directs people to an "augmented" cooling center at the Mid-Valley Senior Citizen Center in Panorama City on Wednesday. (Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Four "augmented" cooling centers are opening in Los Angeles to help people escape what is expected to be an excessively hot Fourth of July weekend.

Libraries, recreation centers and other facilities make up L.A. County's network of more than 150 cooling centers. Many of them are expected to draw even more visitors than usual this weekend as a heat wave simmers over California until Tuesday.

The city of Los Angeles will operate four additional centers with extended hours over the next six days for people who need relief from the heat.

The additional locations will help make up for the closing July 4 and Sunday of some libraries and public buildings, said Joseph Riser, spokesperson for the city's Emergency Management Department.

City officials are urging people to take advantage of the cooling centers as a heat wave is set to bear down over much of California, raising concerns about wildfires and health risks.

Death Valley could record temperatures as high as 129 degrees. The National Weather Service warned that the heat wave in the Bay Area could create "an exceptionally dangerous situation,'' and warned that some parts of Southern California could face "dangerously hot conditions."

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In Southern California, the hottest temperatures are expected to hit Thursday through Saturday, with deserts and mountains reaching 110 degrees. Valleys could see temperatures of about 98 degrees, and coastal plains between 80 to 94 degrees.

In Ventura County, the Ventura County Sheriff's Emergency Services office issued an alert urging people to stay hydrated, limit outdoor activity during the hottest times of the day, and to check on elderly neighbors.

To stay cool, the county suggested residents visit public buildings, shopping malls, movie theaters and state and county libraries.

The city of Thousand Oaks also offers five locations as possible cooling centers, including the Thousand Oaks Alex Fiore Teen Center, 1375 E. Janss Road, and the Thousand Oaks Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road.

In Orange County, a list of cooling centers, including hours and services, are offered online in the county's website.

Read more: Summer heat is coming to California — how hot will it be where you are?

Los Angeles city and county officials are trying to get the word out that locals can beat the heat by visiting cooling centers, as well as splash pads and other free, public locations.

Many people try to withstand the heat the first day, but are looking for a way to cool down by Day 2, Riser said.

"It really has to do with how hot it gets, and for how long," he said. "A lot of people try to stick it out on the first day, and then they realize, 'I can't put up with this.'"

The four augmented cooling locations will be open Wednesday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at:

  • Lake View Terrace Recreation Center, 11075 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace

  • Mid-Valley Senior Citizen Center, 8825 Kester Ave., Panorama City

  • Fred Roberts Recreation Center, 4700 S. Honduras St., Los Angeles

  • Jim Gilliam Recreation Center, 400 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles

A full list of the county's cooling centers is available online, with hours of operation and services offered.

Although only service animals are allowed in public libraries, pets are allowed at the city's recreational and park facilities.

The city has a list of summer pools and splash pads that are available as well.

The cooling centers can offer some critical relief, even for a short period, Riser said.

"In some places for people it's just a place to rest," he said.

If the heat persists, officials will consider extending the operation of the augmented locations, Riser said.

Read more: COVID cases keep rising in L.A. County due to FLiRT; Mayor Karen Bass tests positive

The county's public health department also urged residents Tuesday to take precautions against heat-related illness during the coming days, in particular young children and older adults.

It urged residents who do not have access to air conditioning to take advantage of the cooling centers.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.