Dangerous heat and elevated fire weather conditions are expected across parts of central and western states throughout the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. The triple digit temperatures pose an increased risk for heat illnesses, officials say.
In Texas, calls for help due to heat-related issues increased by 120.4% in 2022 during the months of May 1 to July 12 when compared to the same time period in 2021, according to the regional emergency medical services agency MedStar. Transports to medical facilities were up 108% during that same timeframe in 2022 in comparison to the year prior, with an 80.4% increase of serious injuries.
MedStar paramedic supervisor John Hamilton told CBS News congressional correspondent Kris Van Cleave that he's never seen so many heat-related calls.
"This kind of heat can kill you," he said.
The EMS agency warns residents to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion, which include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness as well as a weak pulse. Symptoms of heat stroke includes an absence of sweating, hot or dry or red skin, pulsating headache and seizure activity.
Rex Denham, 65, fell during a mile walk in Texas, saying he felt dizzy due to the heat. He was transported elsewhere in an ambulance.
The record-high temperatures in Houston, Texas have also affected ground crews working on flight tarmacs.
"You're getting heat not only from above, but also reflecting from all this concrete reflecting back at you," Jonathan Boswell, the managing director of human resources at United Airlines, told Van Cleave.
Heat advisories are in effect across parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, California, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, where heat indices during the daytime a in certain cities are forecast to swell into the 100s, according to the NWS.
The heat in some areas pose risks for elevated fire weather, with red flag warnings issued throughout areas in northern California and southern Oregon.
Those under advisories are encouraged to remain hydrated with plenty of fluids, wear loose-fitting clothing, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun, to not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles and to take extra precautions if working or spending time outside according to the NWS.
"With no end in sight to the summer heat, stay safe & hydrated!" the weather agency advised.
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