By Ruben Vives Ivan Penn Nina Agrawal and Joseph Serna
Jun 20, 2016 | 3:46 PM
| Palm Springs
Every so often someone walks into the Palm Springs Visitors Center raring to burn through hiking trails like they're British adventurer and TV personality Bear Grylls.
For those people, Ceej Juarez, who provides information about hiking trails in the Agua Caliente Indian reservation, has to be a voice of reason. And that is never as important a job as it was on Monday, when a torrid heat wave sent temperatures to 122 degrees in the resort city by early afternoon.
The temperature broke the former record for the date of 118 degrees in 1929, according to the
National Weather Service
. Other cities that hit new highs for the day included Riverside (113), Indio (120), Escondido (106) and Thermal (119).
"People die out here every year," Juarez said. "First thing I tell them is that they must carry lots and lots of water. You need at least a quart per mile."
Earlier in the morning, she said, a family wanted to drive to Las Vegas and take a scenic route through Joshua Tree National Park and then through the Mojave Desert.
"I told them you don't want to go that way right now," Juarez said, what with the few gas stations -- and the infernal heat.
The potent heat wave blistering Southern California triggered a red flag warning for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties and a plea by public utilities for consumers to save energy.
In the Angeles National Forest above Duarte and Azusa, fresh wildfires broke out with evacuation ordered for some neighborhoods.
The Reservoir fire scorched at least 600 acres at Highway 39 near Morris Dam in the San Gabriel Mountains, said Andrew Mitchell, spokesman for the Angeles National Forest. Azusa police issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents who live in the community of Mountain Cove.
In Duarte, firefighters tackled the 500-acre Fish fire as flames moved close to structures. Evacuation orders went out for homes near Encanto Parkway.
The heat wave has already broken records across the Southland, with more poised to fall on Monday.
But the expected high temperatures didn't faze Espinoza, who was smiling even as sweat streamed down his face. "You get used to the heat," he said. "I'm not worried."
Having worked in gardening for one year and in construction for 12 years before that, Espinoza knew how to deal with the heat. He wore a…