Beat the heat at these county ‘cool zones’

SAN DIEGO -- In response to the continuing heat wave that brought record-breaking temperatures to several San Diego County locations Friday, officials Saturday are urging residents to take shelter in the more than 115 "cool zones" located throughout the county.

While temperatures remained relatively pleasant along the coast and at the beaches, Friday saw Borrego Springs, Campo and Ramona all set new record highs for July 7, surpassing previous record highs for the date that were set in 1976. The thermometer read 120 in Borrego Springs, 108 in Campo and 102 in Ramona.

More of the same is expected Saturday, with highs forecast at 75 to 80 degrees near the coast, 86 to 91 inland, 90 to 95 in the western valleys, 98 to 103 near the foothills, 94 to 102 in the mountains and 111 to 116 in the deserts. A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday for the foothills and the mountains, while an excessive heat warning is in effect in the dessert.

San Diego's "cool zones" program, which was officially launched this year by County Supervisor Dianne Jacob on May 4, is specifically designed for seniors and persons with disabilities to escape the extreme heat.

Most libraries around the county are designated "cool zones" and are open Saturday until 5 or 6 p.m., with many of them open Sunday as well.

The following non-library locations are open Saturday and Sunday:

-- Tecolote Nature Center, 5180 Tecolote Road, (858) 581-9959;

-- City Heights Recreation Center, 4380 Landis St., (619) 641-6105;

-- Tierrasanta Recreation Center, 11220 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., (858) 573- 1393;

-- St. Paul's Villa, 2340 Fourth Ave., (619) 239-6900;

-- Canyonside Recreation Center, 12350 Black Mountain Road, (858) 538-8131;

-- Scripps Ranch Recreation Center, 11454 Blue Cypress Drive, (858) 538- 8086;

-- Mountain View Recreation Center, 641 S. Boundary St., (619) 527-3417;

-- Azalea Recreation Center, 2596 Violet St, (619) 235-1162;

-- Christian Science Reading Room, 8370 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, (619)737- 6093;

-- Mission Trails Visitors Center, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, (619) 668-3281;

-- Encinitas Community Senior Center, 1140 Oak Crest Park Drive, Encinitas, (760) 943-2259;

-- Park Avenue Community Center, 210 E. Park Ave., Escondido, (760) 839- 4688;

To find the nearest "cool zone," residents can call 800-510-2020 and press 6 to reach the Cool Zone Helpline, or find a full list of locations here.