On Tuesday, the state will be experiencing its hottest weather in a century as temperatures climb to 60 degrees in Los Angeles.
The region has already recorded its highest temperature ever in the middle of March.
In the past week alone, it has seen more than 1,500 people killed and 2,000 people injured by heatstroke.
In some cases, these deaths have been caused by heat-related respiratory infections and dehydration, and the conditions have caused thousands of pets to die.
In other cases, they have caused more serious illnesses like pneumonia, coronavirus and heatstroke, and have left thousands of people homeless.
And yet, the worst part of this is not the heat, but the animals.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, there have been at least 2,200 reported cases of heat-associated illness among the 1.5 million residents of California since the state began keeping records in January of 2017.
In a statement, the department said that as of June 1, the death toll from heat-induced illness in the state had reached 1,917, up from 1,622 at the same point last year.
There have been about 1,300 confirmed heat-specific deaths and 1,000 heat-transmitted illnesses in California, according to the department.
So what can you do to keep yourself safe?
Here are some tips to keep your pets and wildlife happy and healthy: Don’t go out alone.
“It’s a lot of people that have a hot day and then go outside to cool off,” says David Leach, a wildlife and outdoor education manager at the U.S. Fish and Game Service.
“There’s a big risk that people get caught in the heat.
And the animals will get hot.”
Keep a cool head.
“When it’s hot, it’s cold,” says Leach.
“You want your eyes open.
You want your ears open.
And you want your heart pumping.
When it’s warm, it hurts.”
Keep an eye out for your pets.
When you’re out at the beach, for instance, be sure to watch for the sea lions, turtles, and sea birds that often congregate at beaches, especially during the heat of summer.
“They’re a great way to get away from the crowds,” says Jeffrey Schmitt, a spokesperson for the California Coastal Commission.
“We’ve seen some very dangerous sea lions that have gone overboard.”
If you see an unusual sighting of a sea lion, make sure to call your local authorities or the state’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which tracks the numbers of stranded marine animals.
Also, if you find yourself in the midst of an extreme heat wave, check in with a wildlife rehabilitator.
“If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you want to be safe,” says Schmitt.
“That means you need to be out there, and you need a way to make sure you’re comfortable.”
Keep your pets indoors.
“The only way to prevent these heat-linked deaths is to keep the animal indoors,” says Michael Mankiewicz, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Southern California.
“People are afraid of the heat.”
Mankiewitz says it’s important to check in frequently with your vet and your local wildlife rehabilitators to ensure you’re doing all you can to keep a cool home.
“But also, if your pet is going to be outside, you need your pet inside,” he says.
“Be careful, be smart, and don’t leave your pets in the car or in the garage while you’re at the park.”