The Southern California oil fields are located along the San Andreas Fault line which allows hydrocarbons to seep up from the crystalline basement: Southern California Hot Spot Hits 812 Degrees, Baffles Experts. (Hat tip: John A. Bailo)
The area has recorded high temperatures at least five times since 1987, Allen King, a retired geologist with the U.S. Forest Service told the newspaper.
The hot spot is located in steep, rugged terrain a few miles north of the town of Fillmore on land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and leased by Seneca Resources Corp.
Officials who are familiar with the patch of land, which is near the large Sespe Oil Field, have come up with a few theories as to why the ground soared to 812 degrees fahrenheit on August 1.
One theory is that natural hydrocarbons, such as oil or gas, are burning deep in the earth and seeping out through cracks in the area, causing the surface to rapidly heat and generate smoke.
According to the Star, Allen King, a former geologist with the U.S. Forest Service recently stuck a thermometer into the ground and got a reading of 550 degrees — so hot that it melted the glue holding the sole of his boots together.