Excessive Heat Warning in effect for 8 Arizona counties

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for portions of Arizona, as temperatures in the Phoenix area could reach 116°F.

The warning goes into effect at 11 a.m. on July 21 and lasts through 8 p.m. on Friday.

The counties included in the warning are:

  • La Paz
  • Maricopa
  • Mohave
  • Pinal
  • Pima
  • Yavapai
  • Yuma

Portions of Coconino County are under the Excessive Heat Warning until 8 p.m. on Saturday.

"Minimize outdoor times and check on family and the elderly," NWS Phoenix said in a tweet.

MORE: Coast-to-'toast': Sweltering heat baking 100 million Americans from the West to Northeast

Heat relief stations activated in Phoenix

The Salvation Army will activate its 11 heat relief stations around the Valley to assist anyone who needs to cool off and hydrate.

Hiking trails closed

Due to the excessive heat, popular hiking trails in Phoenix, such as those on Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak, will be closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The closure is leading some people, like Michael Cipolletti and Tara Brown, to hit the trail early in an effort to beat the heat.

"People make foolish mistakes and people can die out here, so you have to be prepared when you come out here with plenty of water, and if you're a new person, you cannot come out in the middle of the day. That’s why I’m here early," said Cipolletti, who mountain bikes on Tuesday and Thurssday, and hikes Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

"People I know train and deliberately train in the heat, because that’s the way they acclimate to racing at higher elevations. Those people are ready for it, but I think a lot of people, especially new to the Valley, they have no idea what it’s like and how sneaky 110 is," said Tara Brown, a mountain biker. "After my ride, my face is white. It's covered and salt. I have to hydrate and electrolyte, but I’ve been training for that. I was in the Valley for over 20 years. Someone who is just coming to visit doesn’t know that, and it could be a real danger."

Through the first week of July, Maricopa County has seen 17 heat-related deaths, with another 126 still under investigation.

You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix weather page, or download the Free FOX 10 Weather app, which is available on Apple iOS and Android.


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Preventing heat exhaustion/heat stroke

The Arizona Department of Health Services stated the following precautions can be taken to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings
  • Limit outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day (mid-day)
  • Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day
  • Drink water before, during, and after working or exercising outside

Driving in extreme temperatures

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s tips for driving in extreme temperatures include: 

Have sun protection: In addition to an umbrella, take sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat and wear loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing.

Fuel up: Keep your tank at three-quarters full. Running out of gas, especially in a remote location, is dangerous in extreme heat.

Hydrate: Take a cooler to keep extra drinking water cold, and consider adding several frozen bottles of water to use for cooling off or to thaw and drink if needed. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays hydrated.

Get help: If your vehicle breaks down in extreme heat, call for assistance right away to reduce wait time, and run the AC. If the AC isn’t working, roll down all windows.

Wait safely: If the temperature inside your vehicle becomes too hot, everyone, including pets, should exit carefully and seek out or create a shaded area as far away from the travel lanes as possible. Be careful walking on the road surface, which can be hot enough to burn skin. Keep your shoes on and try to keep your pets’ paws off the pavement. If you are stopped along the highway, raise the front hood and turn on hazard lights. Please keep in mind that parking in tall brush can start a fire. 

Check your vehicle: You can help avoid breakdowns and blowouts by making sure your vehicle is in good operating condition. Check your air conditioner and coolant levels, top off any vital engine fluids and make sure your battery is up to par. Check your tire pressure, as the combination of under-inflated tires and hot pavement can lead to a blowout.

MORE: https://azdot.gov/about/transportation-safety/severe-weather