Numerous brush fires will keep skies smoky, NWS says. Cooling centers open in Taft, Maricopa

Smoke, haze and another day of intense heat.

That's the weather, in a nutshell, for the Westside and most of the state.

Numerous brush fires up and down the state are producing thick smoke blanketing much of California and the heatwave is continuing.

Taft remains under an excessive heat warning and an air quality alert.
The heat warning is scheduled to end at 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The air quality alert for smoke is going to remain in effect indefinitely.

The heat wave that has covered the area for more than a week is expected to break a bit but there is no major cooling in sight.

Highs in the Taft area are expected to be around 105 today and 102 on Thursday.

Highs are expected to remain in the low 100s and overnight lows will stay in the low 80s into early next week, the weather service said.

Cooling shelters in Taft and Maricopa, located at the Veterans Building at Cedar and Taylor and the Gusher Hall at 271 California St. are both scheduled to be open on Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m to give people without adequate cooling in their home a respite from the heat.

people using the cooling centers should bring their own snacks, reading materials, and non-alcoholic drinks.  If you need transportation to a cooling center, you are asked to call 211.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the county said all visitors are encouraged to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

Visitors will be screened for temperature and symptoms upon entry. Anyone who has a fever or are exhibiting symptoms will not be allowed in the center, according to the county.