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Soaring Temperatures Trigger Bay Area Heat Warnings

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A strong high pressure system sent temperatures soaring in the Bay Area Thursday with triple-digit heat predicted for much of the region, triggering warnings from the National Weather Service.

An excessive heat warning began at 11 a.m. for most Bay Area cities and would likely remain in effect for the daylight hours through Sunday. Meanwhile, California ISO -- the agency which runs the state's power grid -- issued a flex alert for Friday asking residents to be mindful of their energy use.

Forecasters predicted a new record high for Concord would be set on Thursday. The current record is 98 degrees set in 2005 with Thursday's high predicted to soar to 103.

It will be the first of several records that will likely fall throughout the Bay Area on Friday and Saturday. Livermore's temperatures could soar to 113 degrees Friday, just two degrees shy of the city's all-time record set in September 1950, according to the National Weather Service.

Santa Rosa temperatures are expected to hit 107 degrees Friday, compared with the town's 113-degree record. Napa will hit 103 degrees, Gilroy 111 degrees, and San Jose will see 100-degree temperatures.

Forecasters warned that people including athletes, the elderly and young children are at risk for heat-related illness, hyperthermia, heat exhaustion and heat stroke under these conditions.

In Novato, public schools will close early on Friday because of the heat wave.

Novato Unified School District's elementary schools will dismiss students at noon and secondary schools will dismiss students at 12:45 p.m. The district is working with transportation and food service departments to ensure they also adapt to the shorter school day.

Meanwhile, sports practices on Friday have been canceled and district officials will monitor the weather on Friday to see if football games will still be played on Saturday.

"Confidence is pretty high that area temperatures will remain above normal through next week," the Los Angeles-area National Weather Service office wrote. "The question is will it be extremely hot or just hot?"

The heat wave also triggered a red flag warning for much of Northern California. The heat was hindering the efforts of firefighters near Oroville battling the Ponderosa Fire.

The wildfire, which is about 20 miles east of Oroville Dam, was allegedly ignited by an illegal campfire set by John Ballenger of Oroville. The 29-year-old was arrested on Wednesday.

As of Thursday morning, the blaze was just 10 percent contained and had charred 3,507 acres. It had destroyed 10 homes and 20 outbuilding and damaged another five other homes.

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