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How hot was it? Go ask the dogs

At the dog park near the Silver Lake reservoir, triple-digit temperatures kept both canines and humans away. But as one visitor asked: 'What are they doing that's cooler?'

August 28, 2011|By Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
  • Under a sweltering summer sun, Mark Anthony of Highland Park gives his dog, Sonic, a bath.
Under a sweltering summer sun, Mark Anthony of Highland Park gives his dog,… (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles…)

It was dog days at the dog park.

Whereas on most sunny afternoons the park near the Silver Lake reservoir is abuzz with tail-wagging, ball-fetching canine exuberance, the place was nearly empty for a while Saturday as temperatures across Southern California hit triple digits.

"I was just wondering where everybody is," said Peter Brightman, 45, of Silver Lake. "What are they doing that's cooler?"

PHOTOS: Sizzling temperatures in the Southland

Brightman, a tattooed counselor at a residential treatment facility, was sharing a table and some umbrella shade with the park's only other human patron, Gabriel Smalley of Los Feliz.

The two were there with their dogs, Blackie and Buck. Both are regulars and neither recalls seeing the park so empty on a summer afternoon.

Surveying the dusty ground that makes up the popular park, Brightman asked with a smile: "What could be cooler than this?"

Though some apparently found it too hot to even watch their dogs exercise, Martin Leon said he didn't think twice about taking his regular run around the reservoir (about 2.2 miles), despite extreme heat that had prompted a warning by the National Weather Service for people to limit their outdoor activities.

Dripping sweat after at least a couple of laps around the lake, Leon, 37, said that the workout was "exhausting" in the midday sun but that it was the only window of time he had to get in his run.

"I was just pushing myself," he said. "I come from a family of not thinking about it, but being about it."

The mercury hit 107 in Lancaster, 103 in Burbank and 93 in downtown Los Angeles, and never got higher than a lightly toasted 81 in Avalon on Catalina Island, according to the National Weather Service.

In other parts of Southern California, the heat contributed to brush fires in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The largest, burning near the Pinion Hills area near the San Bernardino-Los Angeles county line, had grown to about 150 acres by early evening.

PHOTOS: Sizzling temperatures in the Southland

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