Excessive Heat Warnings and Watches starting Monday on west Coast

(Updated at 8 a.m. MDT July 31, 2017)

excessive heat warning
The red areas indicate warnings for excessive heat through Thursday August 3 with temperatures at various times reaching into the triple digits — even in the Seattle area on Thursday.

Above: excessive heat warnings. Below: Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches. All were updated at 7:50 a.m. MDT July 31, 2017.

wildfire danger red flag warning
The red areas are under a Red Flag Warning on Monday. The yellow areas indicate Fire Weather Watches for elevated wildfire danger for the next several days.

Firefighters: be careful out there. It’s a good time to review how to prevent and deal with heat related illnesses. Drinking water is important, but it will not prevent heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or rhabdo. And those last two can kill.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

5 thoughts on “Excessive Heat Warnings and Watches starting Monday on west Coast”

  1. I’m so grateful to our brave fire fighters, may they stay safe, out there in that oppressive heat!!

  2. Just a quick note to say thanks for the reminder information on heat stroke type emergencies. (original post and this one) Hoping it gets more distribution for not just fire fighting, but also any activity/work that is in heat conditions. (The military comes to mind instantly – thinking of the British military recruit who died a couple years ago after extreme marching in unusual for Britain heat – not a complete newbie, but someone with already some military training.) The original post a few weeks ago was very interesting, particularly as you highlighted the August 12th 2012 case of Jimmy Randolph, which hopefully will be used over time to alert people as to the reality of a deceiving continuation of heat build up in the body, even after being removed from the heat-inducing conditions, and by that save others in the future. Even though we in the desert Southwest are quite sensitized to being careful and for watching for over-heating warning signs, Randolph’s case was an eye-opener for how heat can continue to build and damage inside the body; the need for more aggressive cooling measures and that the active attending and monitoring period of anyone affected needs to be longer to make sure they’ve truly made it out of the danger zone. These are practical, low-cost measures that anyone can do. Again, thanks!

    1. To be more specific – your highlighting Randolph’s circumstances helpfully illustrated the NMACG memo admonition: ” Fire fighters unable to off-load the heat produced by their working muscles will see an increase in internal temperature and can quickly reach critical levels, even death.” That’s 100% correct of course, but a bit abstract to the average reader. A real-life example for non-professionals makes this crystal clear and drives the point home. The critical levels had been reached, but were not evident when Randolph was checked out and sent to rest, but he died the next day. Years ago, during an unusual heat wave in France, thousands of elderly died of heat-stroke in about only a three-week period,when French hospitals were at less than 1/2 staffed and 1/2 open due to August vacations where buildings and residences don’t have air conditioning. Cut off from professional medical assistance, had more families known about this heat dynamic in the body they could have immediately taken informed actions to get the core temps down faster and kept them down for their suffering family members. Instead they rushed their family members to closed hospitals or hospitals low-staffed – in stifling conditions with no air conditioning, so there was no relief for the elderly sufferers and their core temps continued unchecked to critical and fatal levels.
      So, very practical information for everyone!

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