As the West Coast suffered through a record-setting holiday weekend heatwave, industry insiders worried that sweltering conditions in Los Angeles may further slow Hollywood’s return to business as usual.
The threat of rolling electrical outages and brownouts would be a greater danger to the entertainment industry if it were not already largely shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. But as studio chiefs try to finalize negotiations on return-to-work terms with Hollywood’s creative unions, the prospect of dangerously high heat in the area and heightened threat of wildfires is yet another business hurdle to navigate in a year already rocked by the public health crisis and social justice uprisings.
Headlines about record-shattering temperatures on Sunday of 120 degrees and above in spots like Woodland Hills and Chatsworth and 110 degrees and above in Burbank, Pasadena and even central California spots like San Luis Obispo sent industryites to social media to comment on the soaring mercury. The National Weather Service projected Los Angeles County highs in the 100 to 119-degree range on Monday, or what it called a “sizzling and kiln-like September day.”
That also means tinderbox conditions across the state. A wildfire that has consumed more than 7,000 acres in the Yucaipa area of San Bernardino County was sparked Saturday morning by a pyrotechnic device used as part of a couple’s baby gender reveal party, according to a report from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Bobcat fire in the hills above Monrovia had burned approximately 5,000 acres as of noon Monday and was threatening structures such as the Mount Wilson Observatory. Smoke from that fire covered the skies across Los Angeles and rained ashes across a wide area of the region. The Bobcat fire and smaller flareups in L.A. County had industryites on edge over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
On Monday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service closed Sequoia National Forest, Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino National Forest and Cleveland National Forest to visitors due to heat and fire danger. Trails in the Santa Monica Mountains were closed midday Sunday throughout the holiday weekend after a hiker died in Malibu Sunday.
“It’s hot,” wrote filmmaker Julia Hart on Twitter just after midnight L.A. time on Monday. The simple statement from the “Miss Stevens” helmer elicited a response tweet from musician David Crosby.
Yes it is ….and you did not call https://t.co/ZmkXNNc2sl
— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) September 7, 2020
Climate change activists used to moment to call attention to the rapid advance of global warming.
Quick reminder that heat waves are the deadliest natural disaster, killing thousands of Americans every year. Except actually, they’re not “natural” at all – we created them. Southern California heat wave breaks records, fuels fires https://t.co/LedCr30Hjb pic.twitter.com/4xJoBSumXK
— Adam Conover (@adamconover) September 6, 2020
Others urged people to make an effort to help the underprivileged and to consider the plight of pets.
LA folk in the industry! If you’ve gotten branded water bottles as wrap gifts, now would be a great time to fill them with water, refrigerate or freeze them, and give them to our unhoused neighbors. You weren’t really using them anyway, let’s be real.
— Emily V Gordon (@emilyvgordon) September 5, 2020
California: bring your little pets inside this weekend and keep them cool. this heatwave is no joke. stay hydrated.
— Kat McPhee (@katharinemcphee) September 7, 2020
Heatwave= power cut = puppy can’t cope with heat = hotel = French fries in bed = forgives heat wave. pic.twitter.com/rSzrFPOxWx
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) September 7, 2020