• Forced evacuations, wildfires and soaring temperatures continue
  • Eight firemen received treatment for heat-related issues
  • Sunday and Monday were predicted to be the hottest days

A scorching heat wave threatened wildfires in California Wednesday, prompting the closure of Interstate 5. Power outages are also expected.

Forecasters predict that many sections of the state, which has declared a state of emergency, will continue to see soaring temperatures until Labor Day, raising worries that residents may turn up their air conditioning and put a burden on the state's electricity grid, AP News reported.

The Route Fire near Castaic in northwest Los Angeles County burned through around 4,625 acres of hills with homes spread throughout the region. A fire that consumed hundreds of acres in just a few hours forced the closure of Interstate 5, a crucial north-south highway.

Wednesday saw the onset of wildfires in the state, which roared across parched vegetation and compelled forced evacuations. The catastrophic scene was of smoke rising hundreds of feet into the air and an ascending wall of flames as planes dropped water from Castaic Lake nearby.

No initial reports of building damage were recorded, but a mobile home park with 94 units was evacuated, AP News noted in a separate report.

Eight firemen received treatment for heat-related issues, with six of them having to be hospitalized. Despite this, all were in good health, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Deputy Chief Tom Ewald.

More injuries were anticipated as crews dealt with the high heat that was predicted to last until next week, Ewald said in a news conference held Wednesday night. He went on to share that people out there are "just taking a beating" and "wearing heavy firefighting gear, carrying packs, dragging hose, swinging tools," according to the outlet.

State Road 94 was closed after another fire destroyed at least four buildings, including a home, and forced evacuations of at least 400 residences in the Dulzura district, San Diego. Although no injuries were immediately logged, there were several "close calls" as inhabitants sprinted for the exits, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Captain Thomas Shoots noted, as per AP News.

Low humidity and high temperatures, which broke multiple records for the day, continue to pose a significant fire risk across many of the state's valleys, foothills, mountains and desert regions. Sunday and Monday were predicted to be the hottest days, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency has also urged people in California to reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, if possible, and to be wary of symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

A pharmacy thermometer shows a temperature of 43 degrees Celsius (109.4F), as a heat wave hits France, in Nantes, France, July 13, 2022.
California State issued a Heat Wave emergency Reuters / STEPHANE MAHE