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Excessive heat warning issued for Medford area

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Fisherman cast their lines for summer steelhead Monday on the Rogue River at TouVelle State Recreation Site.
Medford, Talent will have cooling shelters Tuesday through Saturday

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the Rogue Valley starting Tuesday and going through Saturday.

Inland Southern Oregon and Northern California valleys will see dangerously hot conditions, with daily highs ranging from 102-112 degrees, the agency said.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” the National Weather Service said in an excessive heat warning issued Monday.

Nights will bring little relief, with low temperatures in the upper 60s and mid-70s, the agency said.

“Extremely hot days, warm overnight lows, and the extended nature of this heat wave may make it especially difficult to get any relief from the heat,” the National Weather Service said.

For Medford, the agency predicts highs of 104 Tuesday, 107 Wednesday, 107 Thursday, 105 Friday and 103 Saturday, then lowering to 99 Sunday.

The city of Medford and community partners are opening cooling shelters Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the shelter will be at the Medford Senior Center, 510 E. Main St.

On Wednesday and Friday, the shelter will be at the Medford library, 205 S. Central Ave.

The cooling shelters will provide water, cool resting areas, restrooms, popsicles and snacks, plus cooling areas and water for pets. People may come and go, with a facility capacity of 90 guests.

Anyone interested in volunteering or who has resources to contribute can email medfordemergencyshelter@gmail.com for more information.

The Talent Community Center, located at 110 E. Main St. behind City Hall, will operate as a cooling shelter from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Household pets are welcome. Have pets on a leash or in a carrying case.

Movies and wireless internet, water and snacks will be available. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be required. City staff members and volunteers will be on hand to lend support. To volunteer, email Community Engagement at talent@cityoftalent.org.

In Oregon, inland valleys west of the Cascades — including the Rogue Valley in Jackson and Josephine counties, the Illinois Valley in southern Josephine County and the Umpqua Valley in the Roseburg area — will get hit by the heat.

The heat wave will also impact the Shasta Valley, Scott Valley and Klamath River valleys in Northern California, the National Weather Service said.

To avoid heat-related illness or death, the agency advises people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible, the National Weather Service said.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned places.

Signs of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, faintness, dizziness, fatigue, a weak and rapid pulse, low blood pressure upon standing, muscle cramps, nausea, headache and cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In case of heat exhaustion, stop all activity and take cooling measures like resting in a cool place, taking a cool shower or putting cold, wet towels on the skin. Drink water and sports drinks with electrolytes, such as Gatorade. Loosen clothing.

In cases of heat stroke, a person may experience a throbbing headache, no sweating, a body temperature above 103 degrees, nausea or vomiting, a rapid and strong pulse or red, hot and dry skin. The person may lose consciousness.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 for help.

Treatment may include immersing the person in a bath of cold or ice water, or packing the person with ice and cooling blankets. The best areas to apply ice packs include the groin, neck, back and armpits, the Mayo Clinic said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.