Soaring temperatures have triggered heat-related advisories and warnings in several parts of San Diego County through the weekend, prompting officials to find ways to help residents beat the heat.
A number of Cool Zones will be open to the public this weekend for residents. They will offer a shelter in which visitors can keep cool indoors and service animals will be allowed, as well.
However, some new rules will be in place to keep visitors safe amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone who enters a Cool Zone will have their temperature taken before they can be allowed in and both visitors and staff are required to wear a facial covering. Social distancing will be mandated and time limits may also be applied to limit each zone’s capacity, according to the county.
Here is a list of all Cool Zones that will be open in the county this weekend from noon to 5 p.m.:
- Borrego Springs Library – Located at 2580 Country Club Rd.;
- Chula Vista Center (at the former Sears building) – Located at 565 Broadway;
- Falbrook Community Center – Located at 341 Heald Lane;
- Lakeside Community Center – Located at 9841 Vine St.;
- Santa Ysabel Nature Center – Located at 22135 Highway 79;
- Spring Valley Community Center – Located at 8735 Jamacha Blvd.;
- Valley Center Branch Library – Located at 29200 Cole Grade Rd.;
Heat Impacts Local Trails
The staggering heat prompted the Cleveland National Forest to shut close Three Sisters Falls and Cedar Creek Falls for hiking. Hikers opted for a different trail to get their fix, though.
By late Saturday morning, trails on Cowles Mountain were already packed, despite the heat.
“It’s hot. It feels like 90s, it’s just in the 70s but it’s hot,” said hiker Luis Rubio Uriel Moreno.
Several hikers who took to the trails said they packed smartly for their expeditions.
“We put ice in our camel pack, we have three liters of water. We snacks, in case,” said hiker Linda Wells.
Signs were posted in the morning urging visitors to leave their dogs at home to avoid furry companions from suffering from any heat-related illnesses. Wells said she agrees with the memo.
“It’s just best to not bring your pet,” she said. “It’s just not worth it because you really can’t tell how much they’re losing water.”
Beating the heat
Residents can cool down with air conditioners or fans and those who want to go outdoors during the heat wave are encouraged to wear sunscreen. Everyone should remember to drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated.
Heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke and heat cramps pose a threat during these times, especially to vulnerable communities like the elderly and children.
The Centers for Disease Control says such illnesses can be identified by symptoms that include fatigue, headache, cramping, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and fainting. Anyone who sees someone in distress is urged to call 911 immediately.
It is also encouraged to refrain from leaving children and pets unattended in cars in order to prevent tragedy. Temperatures in an enclosed vehicle can skyrocket within just minutes, causing serious injury or even death.