Wildfire smoke adds to stifling Western heat; wineries move harvest to night – Chicago Tribune

Vineyards moved their wine harvest to the cool of night and transit trains slowed for fear that some of the hottest weather in San Francisco Bay Area history would warp rails Saturday, as stifling temperatures and the smoky pall of wildfires marked an unofficial end to summer across the U.S. West.

In Los Angeles, a wildfire just north of downtown had grown to become the largest in city history, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. Three structures had burned, at least two of them homes, but fire officials said they were confident they could tame the blaze unless winds picked up.

Fires also have driven people from their homes in Washington state, Oregon, Montana and other areas struggling with a weeklong heat wave that’s gripped the region.

San Francisco, meanwhile, set a heat record for the day before noon, hitting 94 degrees. By mid-afternoon, it was 101 in the coastal city — hotter than desert-bound Phoenix. With an all-time high of 106 on Friday, it became just the third time since the 1870s that San Francisco had back-to-back triple-digit days.


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