The first official days of summer are coming in hot, and agencies are asking people to take extra care with fires and their health.
On Monday, the National Weather Service’s Seattle office released a new heat risk notice for the weekend ahead. Temperatures in Anacortes are expected to reach into the 80s through the weekend.
The hottest day in the region is expected to be Saturday, but Friday and Sunday are also forecast to be “very warm.”
The state Department of Health advises staying indoors or as cool as possible, to stay hydrated but to avoid too much caffeine and alcohol. Also, never leave a person or pet in a parked vehicle, even with windows partly down. Temperatures can very quickly rise to dangerous or even fatal levels.
Skagit County issued a burn ban for all residential and land clearing fires in the unincorporated county Monday that will take effect at noon Friday and continue until further notice. The county is no longer issuing permits for these activities, and all existing permits are suspended.
Recreational and cooking fires, limited to 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high, are still allowed within enclosures and when safety precautions are followed.
Enclosures must be at least 14 inches high, burned material must be kept below the top of the enclosure and anyone burning must have a charged garden hose, two 5-gallon buckets of water or a 5-gallon Class A fire extinguisher and shovel nearby.
All fires must also be at least 15 feet from combustibles.
The ban does not apply to burning permitted through the Northwest Clean Air Agency or the state Department of Natural Resources.
Dr. Beth Ebel also encouraged water safety this weekend as people may be taking to lakes and bays to escape the summer heat. She said in a press release that everyone should wear a life jacket.
“We’ve seen that kids are 13 times more likely to wear their life jacket when the parent is wearing them, too,” Ebel said in the release. “It’s what you do as a parent to model this for your kid and set the example.”