“The things that affect a fire are wind, relative humidity and heat,” Mr. Foxworthy said. “Heat is the smallest player when affecting fire behavior, but I would say heat is the biggest factor affecting the performance of firefighters.”
He said firefighters in California trained for abnormally hot days and were staying hydrated.
The California Independent System Operator, which manages much of the state’s power grid, ordered rotating power cutoffs for a little over two hours on Friday night to reduce overall demand by about 1,000 megawatts. Bloomberg reported that as many as two million people might have been without power at onetime or another.
Anne Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the power grid operator, said the emergency outage was the result of heat as well as having two power plants out of service. She said that the agency did not expect any shut-offs on Saturday, but that she could not rule out future outages as temperatures remain high.
“We were hoping for a little relief on the demand over the weekend, but these temperatures are holding steady, and understandably, people want relief,” Ms. Gonzales said.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 12, 2020
Can I travel within the United States?
- Many states have travel restrictions, and lots of them are taking active measures to enforce those restrictions, like issuing fines or asking visitors to quarantine for 14 days. Here’s an ever-updating list of statewide restrictions. In general, travel does increase your chance of getting and spreading the virus, as you are bound to encounter more people than if you remained at your house in your own “pod.” “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19,” the C.D.C. says. If you do travel, though, take precautions. If you can, drive. If you have to fly, be careful about picking your airline. But know that airlines are taking real steps to keep planes clean and limit your risk.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
I’m a small-business owner. Can I get relief?
- The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don’t know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.
What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?
What is school going to look like in September?
- It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.
Margaret Barreca was staying cool inside her parents’ home in Sebastopol, Calif., in Sonoma County, when the house suddenly went pitch black. When she looked outside, she saw that her neighbors’ homes had, too.
Ms. Barreca had not been warned of the blackout, but she soon learned that the outage was part of the rotating shut-offs. She spent much of the blackout in her car, charging her phone, until cellphone service went out as well. Many of her neighbors took walks along darkened streets.
“It’s really annoying that the power can just go out, but it’s not just about the power,” said Ms. Barreca, 29, adding that she was frustrated by what she viewed as a lack of action by politicians to slow climate change.