Phoenix firefighters warn the public about heat dangers

It's been a busy holiday for firefighters. Not only are they battling brush fires, they're also helping overheated hikers as Valley residents enjoy the outdoors.

Easter this year is bringing a lot with it -- not only chocolate bunnies and eggs, but also a string of hot weather.

Many families are doing their best to stay cool while still enjoying the holiday out at the park.

"We kind of get our outside time early on the season.. we know it's gonna get too hot to spend a long afternoon outside," said Savannah Orr.

The Orr family took their bikes and scooters for a spin late in the day, but the temperatures were still in the high 90s.

Their daughters Bridgette and Londyn weren't big fans of the heat.

"It's horrible. I don't like it!"

And their younger brother Brantley couldn't agree more.

Fire officials are also warning people about spending too much time in the heat, especially after responding to a mountain rescue Easter morning when a 27-year-old overheated while hiking Thunderbird Conservation Park.

She's alright, but firefighters say that just goes to show how dangerous the elements can be if you're not careful.

"Wear appropriate clothing.. enough shade, sunscreen, and one thing we really want people to remember is to keep your cell phone charged.. that really helps us because you just hit the pin and we can find your GPS coordinates," said Captain Scott Douglas of the Phoenix Fire Department.

As for little Brantley, his number one piece of advice was, "I got two waters!!" as he held them up.

Brantley Orr stays hydrated on the trails.

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.

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.