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The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning this week for the Santa Cruz Mountains and a heat advisory for the coastal regions.

Dangerously hot conditions arrived Tuesday in California and will continue through the July 4 holiday, with the heat wave likely to persist into the weekend. Much of the state is seeing temperatures exceed triple digits, while other areas are reaching the upper 90s.

Temperatures are expected to soar again on Friday and Saturday.

Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions and monitor themselves and friends and family for signs of heat-related illness. Due to the long duration of heat with very little overnight relief, individuals are advised to limit outdoor activities, with vulnerable populations especially at risk.

“Excessive heat poses a significant health risk, particularly to the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with chronic diseases,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Lisa Hernandez. “Avoid prolonged exposure to the heat, especially direct sunlight. Hydrate well, check in on others and never leave children or pets in vehicles.”

Public health officials are urging the community to protect themselves, and their family by following the tips below to prevent heat-related illness:

Get plenty to drink

• Drink more water.

• Avoid drinks with caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) and alcohol.

Stay cool indoors

• Stay in an air-conditioned area, if possible.

• If you don’t have air conditioning, go to a library, shopping mall or public building for a few hours.

• A cool shower or bath is also a good way to cool off.

Wear light clothing and sunscreen

• Choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.

• A wide-brimmed hat will keep your head cool.

• Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and reapply every two hours while in the sun (all skin types).

Schedule outdoor activities carefully

• Try to be less active during late afternoon, the hottest part of the day.

• Rest often in a shady area.

• Never leave kids or pets in a parked car.

Practice safe swimming

• Swim in designated areas only.

• Avoid consuming alcohol before swimming.

• Don’t swim alone.

Use a buddy system

• Check on your friends and family and have someone do the same for you.

• Check on the elderly and people with health conditions twice a day during a heat wave.

Protect your pets

• Never leave pets in a car.

• Be alert for any sign of heat stress, including heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting and deep red or purple tongue.

• Offer a cool place to rest.

• Call animal control or police immediately if you see an animal in distress in a car.

• If you think your pet is experiencing heat stress consult a veterinarian immediately for evaluation.

In addition to the above tips, residents and visitors are reminded that fireworks are illegal in most of Santa Cruz County and along all beaches and are an extreme fire risk, especially in the upcoming heat wave. Violators will be subject to fines up to $1,000.

For more information about extreme heat, visit and

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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