Inland Empire workers fighting triple-digit temps through extended heat wave

Workers across the Inland Empire, from firefighters to Amazon workers, continue to feel the heat during the extended heat wave that's been baking Southern California. 

The Inland Empire is still experiencing elevated to critical fire weather danger, with firefighters still battling three major fires, and several small ones like the Landon Fire in Jurupa Valley.

That fire began with a vehicle possibly overheating on the side of the road near Landon Drive and Wineville Road. The flames quickly spread to nearby brush, where Cal Fire responded with firefighters from Riverside County, stopping it before it threatened any structures.

Working so hard, in what's mostly been triple-digit temperatures, the department says it's even more important that firefighters are getting adequate rest.

"We have to make sure we have enough personnel on each incident. so that every crew is having an opportunity to work and have adequate rest," said Tawny Castro, Cal Fire Riverside County's Public Information Officer. "It's hot. We all know it's been hot, it's going to continue to be hot. We ask everybody to please use caution."

Heat is one of the factors being investigated in the death of a man whose body was found on the Martin Luther King Boulevard off ramp of the 60 Freeway in Riverside, according to the California Highway Patrol.

And Amazon workers at the company's KSBD air hub facility San Bernardino tell FOX 11 they've seen several of their fellow employees have suffered from heat exhaustion over the last few days. 

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"This past weekend it was in the triple digits," said Amazon employee Mel Batz. "One of our coworkers was affected by the heat and was taken away in a stretcher in an ambulance."

Cynthia Ayala is another Amazon worker. She said she saw "my coworker being walked out in a wheelchair. It was only three days of 100-degree weather, and we have a whole heat wave coming, we have the rest of the summer coming."

Speaking at the Warehouse Worker Resource Center in Ontario Tuesday, the workers said they wanted to raise awareness of the working conditions at Amazon hubs. They admitted that conditions have improved, since last year’s highly-publicized complaints from workers at some of the warehouses, but also said it's not enough.

In a statement to FOX 11, Amazon spokesperson Eileen Hards said that "The health and safety of our employees is always our top priority. Our heat-related safety protocols are robust and often exceed industry standards and federal OSHA guidance. Amazon is one of only a few companies in the industry to have installed climate control systems in our fulfillment centers and at every air hub, including KSBD. Our climate control and building management systems measure indoor temperatures and heat index, and our safety professionals monitor these systems so they can take extra steps if needed. Aside from these state-of-the-art systems, our sites include high-volume, low speed industrial fans to provide additional cooling and every employee is trained on the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and the importance of hydration and regular breaks."