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Californians Ace the Flex Alert as Torrid Fresno Temps Continue



Fresno youngsters beat the heat with a visit to one of the city's many splash parks. (GV Wire File)
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California’s power grid managers took to social media on Wednesday night to thank residents for their voluntary efforts to conserve electricity amid the state’s heat wave.

But despite the continuing high temperatures, the grid operator didn’t call for another Flex Alert for Thursday.

Cooldown Expected Next Week

Meanwhile, heat advisories continue in the San Joaquin Valley. There will be widespread triple-digit temperatures through at least Saturday, raising the risk of heat-related illnesses, the National Weather Service said.

Fresno topped out at 105 degrees on Wednesday — the 43rd day of 2022 reaching triple digits. That compares to Fresno’s yearly average of 38 days of 100 or hotter.

Elsewhere in the state, Death Valley hit 120 degrees, the Redding airport set a local record of 110, and Bakersfield checked in at 106.

In its Thursday morning discussion, the National Weather Service in Hanford said, “A slight cooldown will take place for the start of next week although temperatures will remain above normal.”

PG&E Helicopters Hit the Skies Above Auberry, Mariposa

Residents in the mountain communities of Auberry and Mariposa will see PG&E helicopters flying at an altitude of about 500 feet.

The flights began today in Auberry and start Friday in Mariposa.

The helicopters are equipped with technology that collects data on power lines and poles, as well as the surroundings in high fire-threats areas.

PG&E said in a news release that the flights will continue through Friday, Aug. 26.

The flights are part of the company’s efforts to better protect the lines and poles against wildfires.

PG&E helicopters are collecting data on power lines and poles in Auberry and Mariposa starting this week in an effort to better protect the lines against wildfires. (PG&E)

Cooling Centers

In Fresno, the city opens cooling centers from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. whenever the weather service predicts a high of 105 or hotter.

FAX buses provide free service to and from the cooling centers along regularly scheduled routes when the centers are open. Leashed pets are allowed at the cooling centers.

The cooling centers are:

  • Frank H Ball Community Center, 760 Mayor Ave.
  • Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E Butler Ave.
  • Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N San Pablo Ave.
  • Ted C Wills Community Center, 770 N San Pablo Ave.

Cooling Center Activities

While visiting the city’s cooling centers, residents can enjoy board games, play basketball at the gymnasiums, read a book, or participate in activities led by recreation staff.

Recreation staff lead camps, workshops, senior fitness, ceramics, arts, movie screenings, and water fun days. Daily activities at all community centers are posted to PARCS social media accounts.

Wishon Fire in Tulare County Is 45% Contained

Firefighters are gaining the upper hand on the Wishon Fire near the Tule River Canyon in Sequoia National Forest.

Authorities reported Thursday morning that the fire was 45% contained and covered 350 acres. On Tuesday, the fire was just 5% contained after starting on Monday mid-afternoon.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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