Record heatwave in the northwest leads to hundreds of ER visits, deaths

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Like many of you, I was horrified reading the reports coming out of the Pacific Northwest about the recent heatwave. It’s not completely over, but temperatures have relented somewhat. For several days, Oregon, Washington and Canada experienced triple digit weather that those areas have not seen in a century. In some cases, it was the hottest it’s ever been. The result of such brutal heat took its toll on the people who live there, causing mass hospitalizations and multiple deaths. CNN has a breakdown of the tragic numbers.

Hundreds of people have visited emergency departments or urgent-care clinics in the Pacific Northwest since Friday — and as many as 230 deaths have been reported — as an excruciating heat wave smashed all-time temperature records in Oregon, Washington and Canada.

Portland set record-high temperatures three days in a row, topping out at 116 degrees on Monday. Seattle hit 108 degrees, a new record. At least two locations in Washington reached 118 degrees, which, if confirmed, would tie the state temperature record that dates back to 1928.

A town in southwest Canada registered a temperature of 117.5 degrees — the highest ever recorded in the country, and around 48 degrees above what’s normal for this time of year. Scientists have told CNN the heat wave is a clear sign of the climate crisis, and similar extreme heat events will happen more frequently in the future.

In Washington, at least 676 people visited emergency departments for heat-related symptoms from Friday through Sunday alone — before peak heat descended upon the state. Cory Portner, a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Health, said 81 of those cases led to inpatient admissions.

King County, which includes Seattle, had 40 emergency department visits for heat-related illness on Saturday and 91 on Sunday, according to Gabriel Spitzer, communications specialist for Public Health Seattle & King County.

“Over the last three years, previous maximum single-day count of [emergency department] admissions for heat-related illness was 9,” Spitzer told CNN in an email.

The Oregon Health Authority reported a total of 506 heat-related visits to emergency departments and urgent care centers over the past four days. At least 251 visits occurred on Monday alone, when temperatures were highest.

In the Portland area, the 97 emergency department and urgent care clinic visits for heat illness is nearly the same number of cases they would see all summer, according to Multnomah County communications director Julie Sullivan-Springhetti.

More than 60 sudden deaths have been reported in the Vancouver metro area amid the heat wave. British Columbia as a whole has reported more than 230 deaths since Friday.

The province’s chief coroner called it an “unprecedented time.” The coroner’s service normally receives about 130 death reports over a four-day period. From Friday through Monday, at least 233 deaths were reported, the chief coroner said, adding “this number will increase as data continues to be updated.”

Royal Canadian Mounted Police have responded to 35 sudden deaths in Surrey, British Columbia, since Monday, media relations officer Cst. Sarbjit K. Sangha told CNN. Officers responded to 22 deaths on Monday and 13 more so far Tuesday, Sangha said.

[From CNN]

As you can probably guess, the majority of those affected are the elderly. As the article states, these temps are almost 50 degrees higher than what those residents are used to, most of them don’t have any kind of cooling system in place that would combat this kind of heat. Portland had cooling centers that supported almost 600 people. In addition, the larger urban areas had their unhoused communities to consider who had absolutely no way to protect themselves from the temperatures. The article also stated that animal wellness calls were up 330%. I saw many tweets about tips to protect both homes and pets during the heatwave. I hope the information got out there, they were good suggestions. I know we have readers from those areas and I’m sorry for what you must have gone through. I hope all our PNW CBers were able to escape it somewhat and that you and your loved ones are okay. Those are Arizona temperatures. I wouldn’t even know what to do with those here in LA and we are still considered desert.

Obviously, as the article states, this is a result of the climate crisis. I’m sure someone is going to argue otherwise but sorry, those words are wasted on me. What happened in the Pacific Northwest is frightening. California is already in an extreme drought, and we haven’t even hit fire season yet. In our home, we just made out summer plan for when the aave hits here. We won’t be allowed to use out air conditioner because the grid will be taxed during peak hours. That’s the air conditioner I had to install last year as none of the houses in this area have them because, like Oregon and Washington, this part of town never needed them until the climate crisis began. Now we must sleep in 85 degree temps at night for two weeks in July. Every little bit helps. Here are a few climate friendly changes you can makes in your life, big or small. And here’s a site for kids. We won’t solve this overnight, but something is better than nothing.

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122 Responses to “Record heatwave in the northwest leads to hundreds of ER visits, deaths”

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  1. Darla says:

    I didn’t know you aren’t allowed to use your AC, wow. I had hoped this wouldn’t happen in my lifetime, but it’s become beyond obvious that some of the worst of it will. Climate change has been so obvious for years now, I would tell Republicans on message boards – why don’t you go look out your window for “proof”?? And now we see it worsening every single year, and at a frightening pace. I’ve read that Illinois is well-positioned, and maybe I’ll move there. For years I’ve known that a hurricane is going to come through LI and it’s going to be the big one due to rising sea waters, can even easily lead to a nuclear plant meltdown.

    We ain’t seen nothing yet. The children will curse our names.

    • teehee says:

      Thats what I had thought– I dreaded the future for my (potential) children– but zip in 5 years or so, their future has become my preset already. Whoopsie.

      And the funny thing is, a few rich expect us to sit back and just let it happen- let us all fry, choke, and freeze to death cos the stupid stock market or GDP needs to keep going up, —- for…. NO REASON AT ALL?

      I wonder how long, till the “frog in the frying pan” effect turns off for the masses and people and everyone sees through this ridiculous facade they call modern society.

      The only real answer is decentralization and localization- cos shipping stuff around the world isnt gonna last much longer at this rate. We all deserve a piece of land and a few chickens back to be at least minimally self sustained. I don’t need one conglomerate to intervene when I need potatoes or my neighbor needs wheat, thanks.
      We traded all of that with the hopes of being freed- and instead we are being hung out to dry by those who can profit from our freedom from the land which translates into our dependence on their machinery.

      We became 400% more productive and got like, what 10% more pay and -30% time and -100% space (just guessing the #).

      My a$$.
      What kind of “life” is this?

      • teehee says:

        Small addendum:
        I’m not proposing that we live in the stone ages, cos I can farm AND tweet at the same time. We can have electric cars AND milk our own cows.

        I would just prefer more community-based economies and self sustenance.
        Automatically a gap in available resources and demanded resources will arise, so there would be a collapse of some sectors of economy- because we would have more time and energy free outside of just consuming or producing for consumption.
        But that’s good- we could go back to making music, or making nice handwork furniture, or making elaborate paintings, or skipping rope in our free time instead of buying crap that’s been made off of slave labor.

      • Olliesmom says:

        I totally agree about how we can’t be shipping things all over. Look at how fast the supply chain broke down during the pandemic especially things that were coming from Asia. The supply chain is still broken as evident by store shelves all over where I live and will be for quite awhile – if it ever does go back to like before.

    • AnnaC says:

      They don’t care as long as the stock market keeps going up because they all have central air and backup generators for when the power inevitable goes out. Friends in Texas are already posting that ERCOT, which went down during the big freeze in February, anticipates another grid failure when peak temps hit there. A couple friends got free or low cost wireless thermostats from ERCOT, the caveat being when the grid is under strain they can take over the thermostat; several times in June they woke up to sweltering homes because the thermostats were raised unknowingly.

      • Darla says:

        Can they do this if you have a portable AC as backup? But even as I write that I think of all of the millions who can in no way afford that.

      • AnnaC says:

        No, it’s just if you have central HVAC and a thermostat controls the system. If you have window a/c or portable you’re ok, unless the grid totally goes down.

    • Esmom says:

      Darla, I’m in Chicago and I was just telling my husband yesterday, who is from Seattle and I think still held out a bit of hope of maybe retiring there, that this is where we need to stay. Things here have gotten crazier here, too, weather-wise in recent years. More tornados, and the polar vortex cold snaps, for example, but nothing like the coasts.

      teehee, I agree with everything you say about how we got here. In Chicago, the wealth gap has never been more evident. It’s been like watching a train wreck unfold over the past 20 years. I’m terrified for my kids, who will be finishing college and trying to make it in this horrible world we are dropping into their laps very soon. I’ll add in that with the massive neglect on infrastructure that is really becoming evident everywhere, this country feels more and more like a sh^thole every day.

      • Darla says:

        I know, I totally agree Esmom. It really does feel that way. Moving to Chicago or a surrounding area (I do think I need to be near a major city, I am just built that way) has first entered my mind over the past two weeks.

      • Esmom says:

        Darla, I just posted below that we bought a multi unit building, trying to combat the trend in Chicago of converting them into single family homes and depleting the stock of decent, affordable housing. This is what city life was supposed to be, living in a more modest footprint instead of trying to create suburban sprawl within the city.

      • Darla says:

        Yes, my grandma lived in a place like that in Brooklyn, and actually that’s how my mom grew up too. And what wonderful stories they have, it was a village really, and they all watched out for each other’s children too. That’s awesome you did that.

    • Cate says:

      You are allowed to use AC, it’s just there is an expectation that for some hours during the summer energy demand will exceed supply and you will be asked to conserve by turning it off for a few hours (and yes, if people do not conserve there will potentially be forced rolling blackouts). Ideally people will get some warning that this is coming and can do stuff like pre-cooling their home earlier in the day (the potential blackout periods are mainly 5-9pm, in the middle of the day there is more solar energy available so blackouts are not as much of an issue). Obviously still not great, but it’s not quite “you aren’t allowed to use your AC”

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Yes….it is a HUGE overstatement to say that in CA you won’t be “allowed” to use your air conditioning. That’s a bit Fox News-y.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Darla, my mother grew up in Illinois & from her stories, even in normal times the weather is horrible. Winters get feet of snow, summers are hot & humid. Spring snowmelt means flooded rivers–and when the Mississippi floods, all its feeder streams flood. Oh, and don’t forget tornadoes. And apart from the very southern part of the state, there are no forests, which is why you never read about Illinois wildland fires.

    • olliesmom says:

      I have lived all my life in northwest Illinois and our winters are getting milder every year. One of our local weathermen said that in ten years our winters will be like St. Louis winters up here. It is getting more humid and in the summer and the humidity is starting earlier and earlier in the spring. When I was younger in the 60′s – 80′s, we used to have snow on the ground from November through March. Not anymore most winters. I noticed the weather really dramatically changing about 20 years ago. We don’t have “normal” thunderstorms much anymore either during the spring and summer. When it storms it’s usually a huge storm with damaging straight line winds (never heard of those until about ten years ago), tornados, heavy rain and lightening and yes, we even had our first inland hurricane last summer.

      • Anna says:

        I think the last big proper snowstorm was Feb. 2, 2011 and before that, New Years 1999 or 2000. We get these huge ice/snow/hail/rain storms in April now that seem to come after warm days but as a resident of Chicago for the last couple decades, things have definitely changed in just the time I’ve been here. There is a big difference between weather patterns in Illinois and then those in the city nearer the lake. In fact, there is such a big difference within the city from lakefront to inland just a mile or two, I only look at Northerly Island or South Shore weather reports because where I live, the wind gusts are likely to be at least 10-20 mph higher than whatever’s reported in general and the same for temps being 10-15 degrees lower than whatever is the rest of the city. I have seen tornadoes touch down in Grant Park and there have been more tornado-like weather patterns in the last few years, visibly so, when the sky gets green and you can see the funnels trying to form. Thank goodness for the lake but I don’t think that’s saving us much longer. The good thing is relatively fresh water (not really) nearby but even Illinois is on a fault line or meeting of plates–I have felt earthquakes and they have been documented–so it’s not all perfect. There is the benefit of not sliding into an ocean with rising water levels but other than that…

    • minx says:

      I’m in Illinois and will stay here. The Great Lakes states are well positioned for climate change, far enough north, near fresh water, etc.

      • Olliesmom says:

        I’ve decided to stay in Illinois where I’m at too Minx. There really isn’t anywhere to go anyway to get away from some kind of extreme weather. It’s everywhere. I live along the Mississippi and as long as it’s ok, I’m ok and I’m staying put.

  2. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    This is where Chevron, Exxon, Shell, BP and all the other ghouls of Big Gas and Big Oil must pay. They’ve known about this since the late 60s. And, like Big Tobacco, they’ve lied and lied. They’ve put out full page editorials fudging the science and allowing climate deniers to have parity with actual climate professionals. They’ve obfuscated and buried data. They’ve stretched their greedy fingers deep into the organs of government and squeezed until they’ve ensured their vested interests, and only theirs, matters. I have no words for my shock, horror, desolation at the world we’re passing to future generations: I’m only glad I don’t have children. These murderers – for that is what they are, mass murderers on a global scale – must pay for their wickedness.

  3. Krista says:

    It’s super concerning and it’s happening in a lot of places. Record breaking heat in Dubai. Even places like the arctic circle had persistent temperatures for a few days that were very high.

    I never understand when people say they don’t believe in climate change- Texas had a huge snow storm, people are dying from heat, more storms/flooding each year. How do they reconcile these unusual weather events? Do they believe they are freak accidents? Part of the great reset? I’m genuinely confused as to what negative aspect there is to acknowledging climate crisis. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t believe in it. Anyone have someone they know who denies it

    • Darla says:

      Because then they’d have to be inconvenienced. Life would have to change drastically. And we would have to act as a collective and not as individuals. The actions of an individual cannot impact climate change. It has to be mass action and it has to involve the government.

      America doomed the world over this. Look what happened during covid. The glorification of individualism and “freedom” destroyed any hope for meaningful action against climate change. In America, the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.


      Their grandkids, and at this point, even their children, will spit on their graves.

      • LaraW” says:

        I think one of the issues about climate change is that, at least from my perspective, there’s an underlying assumption that it can still be managed because sometime in the future someone (or many someones) will invent a silver bullet.

        Also I remember when I was learning about climate change at school and the rising temperature of the ocean by a few degrees, I thought “so what?” Well, the thing they didn’t teach us is that hurricanes feed on warm water, and the rise of temperature by a few degrees has resulted in some of the longest hurricane seasons recorded. There are more hurricanes, it seems like many of the recent ones are incredibly slow moving once they hit landfall. So you get these massive storms that act as conveyer belts of water, continuously dumping rain and not weakening because there’s a lot of warm water to sustain them.

        Just, even when schools do cover climate change, there are so many unexpected consequences from things that sound like no big deal.

      • Darla says:

        Yep, I think you are totally right about the future’s silver bullet theory. Looks like the future is here a bit ahead of schedule and no silver bullet in sight. :(

      • LaraW” says:

        I kind of wonder if covid will have any medium term consequences with respect to climate change. Certainly air travel has been cut waaaaay down, and the supply chain shortages are starting to catch up with us. Fewer cars on the lot, etc. Yet at the same time, so many stories about people moving out of cities to find someplace to live in the suburbs, which means increased usage of gas. I guess it’s just too early to tell.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Darla and LaraW – yup, I have a friend who thinks that. He believes in climate change and understands its real but he thinks when things get REALLY bad someone is going to come up with “something” and bam! back to “normal.” He’s pretty pragmatic overall so I don’t know where this particular theory comes from.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Yeah, I’m starting to get very angry at people who claim that technology will solve the issue and say that Musk (!!) will invent something to solve the climate crisis as if this is a good reason to simply ignore the issue and push it forward. That’s a lie: more technology won’t save us. We don’t need electric cars or Mars colonization, we need less technology and less cars and less stuff.

    • salmonpuff says:

      My parents don’t believe in climate change, despite living in the PNW and experiencing three extreme weather events in the last year alone. They believe what’s happening is a natural cycle that happens every few thousand years and is in no way manmade. They also believe the dangers of COVID are exaggerated, astrology is destiny and systemic racism doesn’t exist. Some people are willfully ignorant. In my parents’ case it’s because they can’t face truths that would make them feel bad about themselves or their actions, and I suspect that’s true of a lot of people.

      • Anna says:

        @salmonpuff and because, if they are white, they don’t have to face truths. They have the choice of white privilege. It’s more than just choosing not to face; privilege means you don’t have to, at least not until you’re face to face with it and even then…

      • schmootc says:

        Points for astrology being destiny! I haven’t seen that one in combination with the climate change denying, Covid downplaying, etc.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, I live in Houston. The Big Freeze was not fun. We lost power for three days, but were relatively lucky because the only burst pipe/leak was in the patio area so we were not flooded out of the house. It was pretty miserable, but I’ll take those three days over the long, HOT miserable summer here any time.

      Summer has always been bad here but it lasts longer now, into November really. The city is overbuilt and everyone has air conditioning and runs it. I don’t know how they got by before it, but then it was probably cooler then, with more greenery, etc.

      But do people want to use all the solar and wind energy available in this state? No, not the Republicans who run the place, who were responsible in large part for what happened this past winter, not the businesses, not the deniers. Yes, there is wind energy and some solar but there should be more.

      And people live in big houses, too, when they can, Bigger than they need. And I include myself in this. I want to downsize but we don’t want to leave our neighborhood, and the older homes which are smaller are also less energy efficient.

      It’s a mess.

  4. Becks1 says:

    I’m in Maryland and we get high temps in the summer (it was around 100 here yesterday) and those temps in the PNW would be insane for here – and most houses have central air at this point. It’s only going to get worse as the climate crisis worsens.

    I know we need to make lifestyle changes – we do a lot of the basic things – reusable shopping bags, reusable water bottles, LED lightbulbs, those kinds of things – but I know we need to start making some of the bigger changes. We keep talking about solar panels, which would be a good investment IMO because we are never moving. (I guess that’s my big contribution, we live in a 1960s rancher and don’t plan on moving, no matter how many new developments get built up around us.)

    • AnnaC says:

      I’m in Rhode Island and we just had our second heat wave (mid90’s inland) of the summer. Normally we don’t see these temps til late July or August.

    • Esmom says:

      I hear you, Becks, same. One thing we did was sell our house and buy a multi-unit building, which have become depleted in the past 20 years in Chicago by all the people converting them into single family mansions. We will live in one unit and rent the others, which is how the city was designed in the first place. Trying to do our part to keep affordable housing options in the neighborhood instead of taking them away because of some inexplicable need for 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. I would love to do solar.

      • Arpeggi says:

        This is indeed what needs to be done: densification of urban areas so that we don’t have to rely on single-person cars and living in smaller spaces that require less heating and cooling: 2 person don’t need to live in a 6 bedroom house and we collectively can’t afford the energy it takes to cool/heat those. It’s great that you were able to purchase a duplex with the intention of renting, I would love to do that, if I had the means (the market in Mtl exploded in the past 8 yrs and now duplex/triplex that used to be 500K are sold 1.5 millions).
        I bought an apartment in a triplex that was converted decades ago. It’s 950 sqft which is plenty for myself and for an eventual child. I have a tiny yard, I sold the spa that was installed there before and turned it into a garden and gave some plants to the neighbors. I don’t have a car, I bike or use public transport (there’s a subway station 8min from my place), there’re 3 groceries within 10min walk, a public pool as well and the botanical gardens are 15min away. This is what people should aim for: proximity of services and creating a diverse community, not owning a McMansion

      • Esmom says:

        “This is what people should aim for: proximity of services and creating a diverse community, not owning a McMansion.”

        This is exactly right, Arpeggi. And this is what Chicago was 25 years ago when I was young and single. I got to work and everywhere I needed via public transit, bike or walking. I had an “old lady” grocery cart for walking to and from the stores, which were within a couple blocks. I could afford to rent a decent apartment on my tiny salary. But then people discovered they could have it all — city life, proximity to downtown and also a big house — and our multi-unit housing stock, especially 2- and 3-flats, was decimated. Not to mention the green space has disappeared with those big houses. My friend, in her old house she renovated 20 years ago, has a 400 square foot backyard but is now surrounded by massive new homes that take up the entire lot, no yards at all. She’s walled in, basically. It’s a real problem. There are orgs and activists advocating for the restoration of affordable housing options but it’s pretty much too late.

        We were lucky to snap up a 100-year old classic brick building up at a fairly decent price right before the pandemic. It needs some serious work. but we’ve done that before. We had one years ago that I wish we would have kept and of course now it’s an unaffordable single family home. The housing prices are mind boggling. Home ownership is out of reach for way too many people. Something has got to give but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

      • Amy Too says:

        I’m a nanny and have worked for a few people with these McMansions that are 20+ miles away from their jobs, and what drives me a little crazy is that not only do they not need the space in the way that no one really “‘needs” that much space, but they just don’t use about half of their home. The first floor will have an eat in kitchen, a living room, a formal dining room, and a second living room/family room, and usually the people only use the eat in kitchen and one living room. To the point where they don’t even have furniture in some of these rooms. There’s an entire finished basement with a full bedroom and bathroom, another big living room space, and another smaller living space that is all basically just being used for storage, and again, hardly any furniture. And that’s not just 2 of 3 floors. But because these homes are basically open plan, and they have massive windows (without blinds and curtains in all the windows), they have to heat and cool the whole thing. And because of the huge windows they have to set the AC at 66 and have it run 24/7 just to get the house to be 72-73 degrees. And then everyone has a massively huge lawn and then they only use the little bit of it that’s near the house with the patio, deck, grill, and swing set, but they have to water and spray and mow the entire lawn with one of those huge ride on lawn mowers anyways. It’s so wasteful.

        I think a lot of people are thinking about what they *could* do with all that space (we can make a play room, we can have an exercise room, we can have our parents move in downstairs if they need to, we could build a bar in the downstairs living room, we could have 2 guest bedrooms upstairs and have people stay over all the time, we could have 50 people over for thanksgiving with this big house, we could have a HUGE Christmas tree with these super high ceilings, we could have a formal dining room with a chandelier and eat in there!), but then they don’t actually use the house that way at all. They can’t afford all the furniture, or they don’t have the time or inclination to clean all those spaces, or the kids never use the dedicated playroom bc they want all their toys to be in the living room near their parents. Or if they bought it for those once-a-year gatherings, they don’t actually end up hosting, or they don’t host every year, and even if they do host, they don’t even know 50 people to invite and the 12 people that come all end up hanging out in the kitchen anyways so that massive formal dining room and second living room wasn’t really necessary. People say they want more space and privacy, but then they move into a new subdivision where everyone has a flat lawn full of grass and no trees so you can look out your window and see into the backyard of every single house down the line.

        I wonder if what people really want is greater space between their neighbors, more land because it means more privacy, quieter neighborhoods, and what they think of as “better” school districts. I wonder, if people are going to continue to insist on living way out in the suburbs for those reasons, if it wouldn’t make more sense to just build smaller houses out there. I don’t ever see the type of smaller-footprint, modestly sized single family homes that I see all over the city in the suburbs. They could be 2 bath, 3 bed, family homes with a living room and combined kitchen/dining area. They could be built well and energy efficiently. They don’t need to have a wall full of those huge windows that are 18 feet off the ground and that don’t open and that no one can reach to put blinds or curtains on them so all they do is let in a ton of hot sun all summer long, because they won’t have cathedral ceilings everywhere. Doors can be closed to rooms that people do not need to heat or cool. They can have larger lots, but it doesn’t have to be grass. Leave most of the trees and make a large patio and a small lawn area for pets and children.

      • Anna says:

        Black homeowners were decimated, robbed by banks such as Bank of America for billions, yes, billions of dollars in the late 2000s up through just a few years ago. This is not ancient history, this is happening now and in the open. This is on top of the racist and predatory histories of real estate, red lining and all in Chicago, especially on the south and west sides. It’s criminal. The story of Chicago and real estate must include this because it’s been a wholesale destruction, intentional and systematic, a devastating disenfranchisement of Black homeowners and residents to a degree that is hard to fathom but is a continuing legacy of white supremacy. No one has been untouched by this. See Folded Map Project.

      • Anna says:

        @AmyToo They do it so they can show off, as well.

    • Lizzie says:

      I’m in MO and it’s been cool and raining most of the summer. It normally should be hot sunny pool weather. I was just in LV and 114 is high for there, I cannot imagine not having ac with that heat.
      Keep pets inside with plenty of water.

      • Carmen says:

        Cool and rainy sounds ideal to me. I was in Las Vegas two weeks ago. The temperature was 113° the entire three days I was there. It was like a blast furnace. My first visit to Vegas and definitely my last.

    • JanetDR says:

      @Becks1 I had solar panels installed a few years ago and while it was pricey, half of the cost was refunded at tax time (NYS and federal). I am not sure about that now as I think tRump did away with the federal one? But hopefully that will change.
      I am hooked to the grid so the credits I earn in the sunny months pay my electric bills in the winter.

    • Trillion says:

      I agree that as consumers/regular citizens, we can make wise choices, but the biggest culprits are large companies and corporations who do not want to spend the money required to improve processes. They are the ones polluting and propagandizing denial.

      • Becks1 says:

        This is very true. I can buy as many reusable bags for the farmer’s market as I want, but change has to come from the top down for this kind of crisis.

    • Mich says:

      I’m in central NC – heat and humidity are just a fact of life in the summer. It is going to be 79 tomorrow.

      We had something like 250 times our normal amount of rain over the winter.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      Becks, I live across the river from western MD. We have solar panels on our cape cod. The electric company charges $9/month to convert your solar. From around March – June, our electric bill is a total of that $9, ditto the fall. Through the summer months, it’s around $20-40 depending on how hot it gets. We also get a check back (not a lot, less than $20) for the electricity our panels generate, but we don’t use, during the spring/summer.

      We also do all the things. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Compost. We limit our consumption. We leave the house only when necessary and consolidate trips. It just feels like screaming into the void though when I see the bags and BAGS of garbage sitting in front my neighbors’ houses every single week, or digging recyclables out of my parents’ garbage, or listening to people talk about driving an hour each way just to have dinner.

  5. Amy T says:

    One really important thing to note is that people taking certain classes of psych meds can be especially vulnerable to these heat spells. Make sure anyone you care about in that situation has access to cool places/ fans / ac.

    • LaraW” says:

      Good reminder.

      Also I was refreshing my memory about heat stroke in dogs— the consequences in humans turns out to be basically the same.

      Severe heat stroke causes hypercoagulation, which depletes the platelets in the blood. This can lead to spontaneous bleed out; additionally, all the clots in the blood can block blood vessels, causing organ damage. Treating heat stroke is not just about getting the body down to normal temps. You might need a plasma transfusion, anticoagulants, then on top of that dealing with all the secondary effects that come from these processes.

      So please, please take heat stroke seriously. It’s not just about sweating too much or getting dehydrated.

  6. Wowzers says:

    This heatwave must be absolutely horrible for people in Northwest!!
    In Australia, AC is essential as we regularly have 40degree or 104+ farenheit days in summer and autumn. If you don’t have AC the next best is evaporative cooling, fans and houses built with passive cooling. As a last resort alot of people spend the day at shopping centres, movies or libraries just to stay cool. But because so many people use AC it can occasionally overload our power grid especially in evenings.
    It’s really drilled into us young to rehydrate, slip slip slap on sunscreen and stay the hell out of the heat from 10-4pm. Even then heatwaves are exhausting!

    • Nic says:

      It was brutal! I’m 33 and have never experienced temps like that in my lifetime, our previous record was 104 back in 81 I think? I thankfully have a window ac unit in my living room, my power Bill is going to be awful next month but I have two special needs frenchies I’m fostering, 3 Boston terries and a pig to keep cool and thankfully my ac kept up. Flat face breeds are susceptible to overheating and pigs can’t sweat to cool themselves…I’m really just hoping this isn’t a preview of what’s to come this summer.

  7. Lady D says:

    It hit 45.5C at my house yesterday. I watered my garden at 6am and burnt the back of both shins badly in 20 minutes. It was amazingly hard to breathe outside at noon. We were almost gasping trying to take breaths. Even with the AC going from 5am on, it was still 85 degrees at 10pm in my kitchen. I’m managing 2-3 hours of sleep at night, last night I got in the shower at 2am to try and cool off. I’m seriously debating sleeping in the tub tonight. This heat is really something else.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m not getting any sleep either. I’ve kept my A/C on until 10P at night, because it’s still 99 outside at that time! 99 at 10P!!

      • Lady D says:

        I’m in the BC interior and when I got in my car it said the outside temp was 51C around 2pm yesterday. Unbelievable heat. Two of my hanging baskets turned to straw the day before yesterday, the tomato leaves crumbled in my hand and I’ve lost my entire raspberry crop, close to 15 pounds and (sob) half the bushes. Everything is cooking. Down on the coast it is currently 20 degrees too hot for raspberries to grow. Thousands of acres of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries are burnt. Apparently the cherries are next. Last year cherry farmers were hiring helicopters to help dry the crops because it rained so much. Crops don’t stand a chance here in the interior.

  8. Sam the Pink says:

    Friendly reminders:

    1.) Animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions. The biggest single change you as an individual can make to combat climate change is to adopt a meatless diet.

    2.) While individual action is important, ultimate responsibility lies with the corporate and government worlds. We need to elect officials who take climate change seriously and will vote that way. Even at the local levels. Vote in every election you can.

    • Darla says:

      Oh that’s right about meat, I forgot about that. I’m a lifelong vegetarian, bordering on vegan these days, so I never think of that. Imagine trying to get America off their meats. I ordered those impossible burgers, as an appetizer, they were sliders. I couldn’t eat them because they really do taste like meat. I gagged. My non-veg friend loved them though! I wish people would open themselves up to this.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        The only thing that will move people away from meat is cost – right now, the cost of meat is low because it is subsidized by the government. There is a reason why a hamburger can be priced more cheaply than a salad on many menus – and it’s not because the meat is cheaper! We could do a lot if we simply moved subsidies away from meat and towards produce – imagine if your veggies were super cheap. That would go a long way towards helping the problem.

      • Darla says:

        I love this idea.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        Sam the Pink says: “We could do a lot if we simply moved subsidies away from meat and towards produce – imagine if your veggies were super cheap.”

        That would also have the added benefit of reducing obesity & improving health, and taking some of the strain off our ridiculous health care system.

      • Ann says:

        I tried one of those last week when eating out with my sister and niece. It tasted OK, but I do like meat and fake meat just grosses me out for some reason. I would rather just not eat it, have fish or beans or whatever, than eat it faux.

        But I need to cut down. Anything that helps.

    • LaraW” says:

      Thinking about your point re animal agriculture somehow has me terrified. I used to work at an ER veterinary hospital and heatstroke is no joke— and (at least in dogs) surprisingly complex and can be expensive to treat.

      Now, I really know nothing about large animal medicine, but I am imagining this happening to livestock penned together in close quarters and dying from the heat and… it’s a horrifying visualization. I know many of these facilities have some degree of temperature control. But there’s only so much you can do if you have two thousand pigs all trapped in the same building which temperatures outside keep climbing.

    • Sankay says:

      I’ve always heard one of the biggest contributors is lawn mowers, they do not have catalytic converters. We need to get away from lawns as we know it and plant trees. I’m in Maryland and every time I see a new development I cringe. There goes more trees and cover from the heat.

    • Arpeggi says:

      And the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry after oil. That’s also a place where our actions have consequences

      • Sam the Pink says:

        I have been selling a lot of my old pieces through Mercari – seems better to sell them to somebody who will enjoy them. Even donating is not that great, since a lot of donated clothes wind up in land fills too (I just found that out). I am trying to focus now on creating a wardrobe that can go “between seasons” – like a nice dress for summer, and buying leggings and maybe a sweater to take it to winter – instead of needing whole new clothes for summer, winter, etc.

        The hard thing with clothes is the kids – the little ones grow like weeds and while we try to re-use clothes, kids will always want new.

  9. Marty says:

    As someone who lives in the south, I would really like to encourage people who are in need to get a portable AC. Not the kind that needs a vent, but the kind you just put cold water in and it plugs into an outlet.

    I purchased an Arctic Air earlier in the summer when we were getting our AC unit fixed and it was a God send. It won’t cool your entire house, but it will definitely cool a room. There are fancier ones on Amazon, but I chose AA because I could get it at Bed, Bath, & Beyond and use their coupon.

    Hope this helps!

    • Darla says:

      Why not the vent model? I am so curious about this. I bought one this summer, even though I live in an apartment with central air. I moved into a huge apartment that basically has two wings, because my bff moved in with me for a year and we both work from home. She’s always cold, I’m always warm at night. Her end gets the most air, mine the least. This causes big problems. The portable solved them, it’s in my room. But mine has has the vent.

      • Marty says:

        You can get the vent model if you want. The one I’m talking about is just a smaller, cheaper, and more convenient option.

      • Darla says:

        Okay, I thought maybe there was an environmental reason, thank you!

    • Jaded says:

      Thanks for the advice Marty, I think I’ll get a couple as our condo windows are built so that you can’t use window or portable vented a/c units.

  10. kronster says:

    Holly wow. And here I am whining that my city hit 32 C (89.6 F) yesterday. We usually don’t have such high temperatures until August.
    We’re doomed, that’s all I have.

  11. Nic says:

    That Canadian town – Lytton, BC in which recorded temperatures of 49+ degrees C (120F) burnt to the ground last night. Overcome by a forest fire as a result of dryness caused by the heatwave.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Was going to say this too. It’s not “just” extremely hot, it’s literally burning

    • Jaded says:

      The 75 year old widowed father of a good friend of mine lives in Lytton, they’re going to get him today, his house and everything in it is gone. This is just so damn sad….skies are starting to smoke up again like last summer. We had to shut all windows then even though it was in the high eighties and run an air purifier 24/7 the smoke was so bad from fires here in BC and down the west coast. There were days when you could hardly see buildings a block away the smoke was so thick…what will it take to make the nay-sayers realize the situation is beyond dire, it’s apocalyptic.

      • Lady D says:

        My sis-in-law has a lot of family from the Lytton band and it is bad. There is so little we can do to help, we can’t get near. I’m really surprised the Fraser Canyon is still open, it should be shut from Spence’s Bridge to Hope for a few days.

      • Watson says:

        I’m sending big hugs to you folks with family and friends in Lytton. This weather is chaos. Thankfully, it’s been cloudy today in Vancouver, but that’s of little consequence to everyone who’s properties have been burned to a crisp, and are also dealing with the emotional repercussions of the residential school findings and Canada Day. It’s a lot.

  12. Aang says:

    Both is my kids have said they won’t have biological children. One wants to adopt with their partner. The other as of right now says no kids at all. I can’t blame them. It’s like the last days of Rome over here. We are headed into a dark time.

    • Swiz says:

      I don’t blame them. I have a 1 year old daughter and I feel sick thinking of her future. It’s the reason why I’m having no more children- I can’t bear to think of the problems they will have

    • JJ says:

      Both my teens talk about never wanting children. My husband thinks its so odd but I have to remind him they see the world around them and they are justified in being anxious.

    • idk says:

      I do climate change science and policy for a living and I’m absolutely not having kids. I feel genuinely terrified for my friends’ new babies (I’m in my 30s) – my friends are all good people so I have to assume they just don’t think much about the lives their kids will have. They will inherit a burning world.

  13. grabbyhands says:

    I live in Seattle and I can attest to how absolutely miserable it was.

    Not only is the region not used to this temperature wise (hotter summers ARE becoming more common, but this was completely out of the ordinary), but we DO NOT have the infrastructure to deal with millions of people turning on air conditioners and fans (those that were able to find them, anyway) at the same time – our electrical grid cannot handle it. I’m honestly shocked that there weren’t more power outages. And this is just the beginning of summer. We’re pretty screwed if it happens again before the summer ends – and it could.

    About the only winners were companies that deal in HVAC installation, the utility companies and all the hotels that price gouged anyone lucky enough to book a room.

    • Dara says:

      Hello fellow Seattle-ite!

      It was brutal, and I count myself fortunate my situation wasn’t worse. I live in a one story house that stays (relatively) cool, and gets a decent cross breeze at night. We didn’t lose power – so we still had fans, ice and cold drinks. My mom’s elder care facility has central air.

      It’s horrifying to think that this is just the beginning, and will most likely get worse. At this point I am bracing myself for when (not if) the state catches fire and we’re all dealing with the toxic air pollution from smoke, or actually fleeing our homes due to the fires.

  14. Twin falls says:

    I’m in the PNW. Fans were out of stock, ice was out of stock. We had power outages not because of overuse but because the equipment itself got too hot and failed. Libraries and local churches opened up as cooling centers for people who had no AC. Then there were the daily rescues from people capsizing in the river because it’s too high and fast this time of year but people wanted to be out of the heat. As someone else said, that bleak future we thought we were handing our kids is here now.

    • Betsy says:

      I don’t want to say “good” to your last sentence but good. I want people to see what we’ve chosen collectively, for us to begin to pay for it instead of just handing it to our kids. Lest anyone think I’m a dang monster, I wish we had chosen another path and that none of us would have to suffer.

    • Lady D says:

      Yesterday I read that this summer is going to be the coldest one you will ever have again.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        That’s horrifying to hear! Our summers are already becoming longer and hotter but this past weekend was just beyond imagination. I can’t even think of it being much worse on a regular basis. If only we could lock up the climate deniers so the grown-ups can start passing laws and regulations to deal with this right now, not someday down the road in the distant future…

  15. salmonpuff says:

    I’m in Portland, OR, and it was 93 degrees in our living room on Monday, despite our best efforts at mitigation. We have window units in the bedrooms, so that’s where we hung out. It was miserable.

  16. Elizabeth R says:

    I’m in Portland. It’s hard to describe how frankly traumatic this has felt, on top of last year’s apocalyptic wildfires that approached the large urban centers. I’m super privileged in that I have AC and a indoor job, but the city has a sizable (and increasing) population of unhoused folks, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. I spent the last week trying to keep a stray / feral cat alive, it took shelter in a drainpipe and I was taking it ice water 3x a day.

    The trauma of seeing the climate crisis accelerate and the impact that has on those with the least ability to withstand it…. the existential dread is almost overwhelming. Eric Holthaus on Twitter posted this article and it’s worth a read if you’re also in that place;

    • Anna says:

      Terrible. I wonder where the houseless people are taking refuge and what resources people are offering them. Horrific situation.

      • salmonpuff says:

        There were numerous cooling centers spread out around the city. Unfortunately, many unhoused people didn’t want to leave their possessions for fear of losing them. The city distributed water and other supplies to encampments, but the bottom line is, it is completely shameful that in the richest country in the world, we have so many unhoused people. And in a city where a 2 bedroom house can cost upwards of half a million dollars and rent for a studio apt. can run $1,000+ a month, there are a lot of unhoused.

    • schmootc says:

      Portlander here too. I have a portable AC unit in my bedroom, so that’s where I and the three cats hung out for the whole time. Thank you for taking care of that feral cat. The whole thing was just miserable for every living creature in the area.

      My floor in the main living area is bamboo and that stuff was HOT when I left my bedroom. So in addition to feeling like I was walking through soup, the floor felt like it was one of those heated floors. I’m glad I wasn’t one of the people who lost power though. I lost power for four days during the February ice storm and that was a b*tch! All of which makes me feel even worse for those without a house.

      • Elizabeth R says:

        Thanks for the lovely comment. It feels like the tiniest thing to try to help the animals – but it’s something I can do. It all just hurts. Profound grief in the face of ecological crisis and all the suffering that comes from it.

  17. Swiz says:

    I’m so glad this is a story. More stories like this please. We need to talk about it!!
    Is it scary? Yes. It literally gives me anxiety thinking about it, but it’s soooo important we talk about it. Why is climate change not on the front cover of every paper??
    I truly think people are not aware of how devastating climate change is to our future. I really think the only way to deal with and possibly avoid some of the effects of climate change is to confront it and take action now.

    • Maria says:

      Yes. I think in this situation scaring people is the only thing that will be effective.

  18. nicegirl says:

    Thank you so much H

  19. Daphne says:

    The single most impactful action you can take is to eat less meat and dairy. Thank you for the article. I work on wildfire recovery and I am anxious every time I am far away from a body of water as a result.

  20. Ann says:

    It was something like 117 in Siberia yesterday. This is all climate change and it’s going to get worse, and soon, like in about 1 month soon when hurricane season starts. The deaths and devastation are going to hit the south coast and it will be worse. Meanwhile who is to say there won’t be another heat wave in the PNW again this month or next month? And it’s still fire and drought season in the SW.

    Such a pleasant news week. Happy July y’all!

  21. LouLou says:

    I am in the PNW and I am still recovering from it. I have a bedroom AC, but going outside of that room was instantly exhausting and like being in front of an open hot oven. By the third day, I could not keep down food. I plan to keep Gatorade on hand at all times now because despite drinking a lot of water, I feel sure I had heat exhaustion.

    • Lady D says:

      Same with me. By the third day I was down to a bowl of Cheerios and some grapes. I have my bed set up in the bathtub for tonight.

  22. JJ says:

    I’m 39 and I’ve had a cold the last week and for the first time I’ve really felt and understood how people can die from heat. A few days ago during the worst of it I woke up just feeling like I was suffocating and just kind of talking weird. I’m on Vancouver Island and usually it is only really hot a few days a year so we’ve never really NEEDED an air conditioner, we had a used one we got for free just in case and that thing broke down this week. Our house is south facing (I’m always cold) and we only own two clip fans and one is broken. I was just really not prepared. I looked outside in my suburban neighbourhood and you can feel the heat whooshing in off all that pavement, and there just aren’t enough trees. We need shade trees to shade the sidewalks and offset the pavement heat and just no one is planting that. It’s all tiny decorative trees, the neighbourhood is 15-20 years old, it COULD have good trees… maybe because trees get a bad rap for having roots that could interfere with pipes or your foundation but god, there has to be a middle ground here people! We could buffer these extreme events by having better planning, not only by buying more air conditioners. /rant. PLANT SHADE TREES BC!

    • Arpeggi says:

      I understand the BC housing crisis and I’m not blaming you at all, we all need to live somewhere and have to be able to afford it but… we also need to stop creating new suburban developments! Shading the newly-made streets is important:they now exist after all and need to be dealt with. But now, we have to say no more and accept we’ll all live in smaller spaces, closer to our neighbours. Every new development is a forever loss of either farmland, forest or wetland. The suburban nightmare we’ve created in North America, and the expectations of large single family units, a driveway/indoor parking for condos, a pool, etc. is largely responsible for our problems. We can’t afford more of it

      • JJ says:

        Yeah I mean, I agree. I never wanted to live in the suburbs for obvious reasons, I just couldn’t afford the city at all and the other option were homes on highways with super high road noise from logging trucks, which I tried for a few years but it drove me crazy, so I gave in and moved there out of desperation for quiet. I’ve tried to approach it like, this is a terrible plot of land what can I do to add trees and native plants and support biodiversity, but it’s pretty discouraging when my neighbour tears out his side greenery to park a huge car next to my attempt at an organic garden and everyone else has multiple SUVs…

      • Arpeggi says:

        It’s why I said I could not blame you, I totally understand feeling bought out of your city and not having much choice aside from going in the new development. Housing has been tough on the WC for a while now and there are few options. But it makes me want to scream every time I hear about villages changing zoning laws in order to build a new suburban development on farmlands or wetlands (and even louder when a golf course is involved). It’s quick money for the city, but boy will with cost us in the near future!

        And yeah, seeing the bigger driveways for the numerous, bigger SUVs is infuriating. I’m staying at my mom’s while I do work on my apt’s foundations; she’s still in the city but in a 70s-80s development and it looks like the burbs. All the cars around her place are HUGE! On our walks I keep pointing to mom where they would hit us and why the impact would kill us because they’re so much higher than the old cars’ bumpers. This week was hot here as well (high 30s) and I couldn’t bike to work because biking on the 6-lane road that goes over a highway to get to her place would be a hazard at 4-5pm: all this concrete and lack of shades is a one-way ticket to a heatstroke. Everything is designed for cars as if it was the only possible option

    • Lucky Charm says:

      I mentioned to a couple of friends that I was going to tear out my landscaping and plant nothing but shade trees in my front yard. I don’t need a front lawn, I’d rather stay cool. I just wish evergreens didn’t take so long to grow, lol.

      • JJ says:

        It’s true, though some do grow faster than others, you can start to have some shade in even three or four years. I’ve also had good results so far with the bit of land where we replaced the grass with clover (not for shade, but it’s less dry in the summer without water and bees like it.)

  23. Betsy says:

    I was glad to see that one of the links you had spoke about cars. Yes, taking fewer trips is better, but the reality is that we have built a car culture and it’s going to take some time to undo that. What we can all do though is SLOW DOWN. I can’t remember where I read the fact, but from when we raised the national speed limit from 55 to 65, we began to use something like 3 billion more gallons of gas (or maybe it wasn’t that number; if someone is feeling the google better than I am…).

    Local your food. Grow your own. Make seasonal choices.

    Kill your lawn and plant a native garden instead. Lawns use 8 billion gallons of water DAILY. That is faster than aquifers can replenish. Lawns are, as far as water run off and wildlife are concerned, pretty much as bad as a slab of cement.

    And pressure your senators and representatives.

  24. Lucky Charm says:

    My house was 90 degrees inside on Monday, even with all my fans going. It was so hot they had to close parts of I-5 because the freeway started to buckle! I’m worried about my elderly parents, it’s only June* and we haven’t even hit our “real” summer yet! That usually comes late July/August. Thankfully it’s much cooler now. Still hot but I’ll take this over 109+ temps any day!!!

    * it was June during the heat wave

  25. Faye G says:

    I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life and could not believe the temperatures last weekend. When I was a kid, June was almost always gray and drizzly, with summer temperatures not arriving until mid July! This new landscape is almost unrecognizable to me. I’m scared of what things will look like in 20 years

  26. Trillion says:

    Thanks for discussing, everybody. Wildfires are less than 4 miles from my house right now. I’m gripped.

    • Elizabeth R says:

      I’m so sorry @Trillion. It’s awful. Stay safe – sending all the support your way.

  27. Chip says:

    We have 63 dead in Oregon alone.

  28. Jaded says:

    I live on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, and hardly anyone has a/c, we just don’t need it. We had 3 days of hell. I had to take freezer packs to bed with me because even a huge floor fan turned full blast on us wasn’t enough. I had pots of flowers and tomato plants on our balcony but despite twice a day watering they all withered and died. We live in a condo building that has windows that don’t allow for any kind of a/c, even portable, so we’re f*cked if this happens (or I should say WHEN this happens) again. We’re now in our 3rd month of unprecedented drought and forest fires are springing up everywhere. Welcome to the beginning of the end.

    • Lady D says:

      Go to the local Showcase or a ‘What you see on TV’ store and buy one of those Arctic Air a/c units. They cost about $60 and will cool a whole room with ice cubes. They are incredible.

    • JJ says:

      Same and same! I need to invest in more fans, and was also hanging around with ice packs. Felt bad for my cats.

  29. Yonati says:

    I’m across Lake Washington from Seattle. So many people went to the lake to cool off that it’s now closed because of fecal bacteria. Awesome. And then there was the night the power grid shut down in over 1200 towns or certain sections of the city. That was on the weekend. A lot of people here don’t know what to do in weather like this, AC or not (portable or window AC for most of us). People are going out for their morning run “before it gets too hot” and then spend the rest of the day puking. Cascadians (those west of the Cascade mountains) are not at all used to these temps. I moved here 16 years ago from So Cal to get away from these kind of temps!

    • Anna says:

      So extreme heat wave, people try to cool off, and someone decides to shit in the water? Great. This is why we can’t have nice things. Covid pandemic revealed just how dirty this country is. People can’t be bothered to wash their hands or wear a mask, everything is me, me, me in Amerikkka, and the lake becomes a toilet. smdh

      • Maria says:

        Not that you’re wrong about the rest of your comment, but to be fair Lake Washington seems to have a lot of problems with fecal bacteria in summers and many times it’s from geese etc.
        Although I can see a lot of people wading and the increasing heat itself with every summer compounding that.
        But Yonati probably knows more than I do.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Even without shitting in the water, we do carry those bacteria on us and if there are a lot of us in a un-chlorinated body of water… Also the water will warm up, increasing bacteria proliferation

  30. Barbiem says:

    Wow. I cant imagine 116!
    When chicago hits the 90s i dont even go outside. What does that even feel like. Prayers are with them

  31. DiegoInSF says:

    I was literally contemplating moving to Seattle and buy a big house with what can’t even buy me a condo in SF and now this. We’ve been lucky to be spared from the heatwave in SF but I am so scared about the wildfires. Seriously feels like this is the end of times.

  32. The Recluse says:

    I read an article about how this heat wave is having a detrimental impact on animals and wild life. It described one person bringing their chickens in and keeping them in their cool basement so they wouldn’t die. It also described someone using their hose to cool down an overheated coyote cub. Horrific.

  33. Carmen says:

    I have a friend in Palm Springs, CA and she tells me the temperature there hits 120°+ every summer. I can’t imagine living in that heat.

  34. Dottibug says:

    I’m from BC. It was stifling oppressive heat. The portable ACs couldn’t keep up with the heat. As others mentioned earlier, the village of Lytton literally burned. It recorded temperatures higher than that of Las Vegas. It was even on par with Death Valley temperatures. In the northern interior of BC. A latitude that should never experience these kinds of temperatures. I’ve lived in this province my whole life, and the wildfires every summer are becoming more extreme. It’s so sad. I honestly feel gutted about it. We’re a temperate rainforest. I don’t think we need more proof that climate change is happening now. But I can’t help thinking the news story will pass, as they all do, and even this (sadly) won’t be the wakeup call it should be.

  35. Jen says:

    I live in one of those very hot Washington cities. We had reports going out about baby hawks jumping from their nests due to the crazy heat. Apparently, the nests were way too hot. Fortunately, there was were wildlife rehab volunteers picking them up and getting them the help they needed. It’s absolutely insane.

  36. nicegirl says:

    Hecate already knows this, (bc I reached out andEVERY celebitchy writer responded, they are the absolute best) but my darling best friend sweet pup of 13 years, our Maltese sweetie, passed on the hottest day of the heatwave. She was very old, and I kept our home as cool as possible, bathed her in cooler water, I even made my puppy ice treats (I called them pupsicles lol) where I freeze the biscuits in water and break them into bits for lil treats, I had metal bowls with huge frozen water bottles behind the fans in rooms w/o ac, turned on misters, everything. But Bella didn’t make it. She passed on Monday, early afternoon. I didn’t feel any of the oppressive heat after she’d gone bc I was so upset. Now it’s burned into my brain, losing my best friend on the hottest day ever in Portland. I live just a teensy bit south now, literally on the Clackamas River, on a 6 acre forested river property where it’s usually 10 degrees cooler with huge canopies of trees and 2 creeks in addition to the river. It was 114 on Monday. I’m terribly sad and I can’t imagine how folks will make it safely through further heatwaves. I always recycle juice or larger containers and freeze water in my freezer and travel to areas and hand them out to my houseless neighbors. Sometimes I fill them up about 60%, freeze over night and night then add more water for drinking. Other times I freeze smaller bottles and hand them out on the heatwave days so folks can keep their coolers cold. I’d spent several hours on Sunday delivering the 76 bottles I’d collected to folks I saw in bad situations. Brought pupsicles in baggies. They were melting by the time but their dogs loved them. I’m really appreciative to you Hecate, and to Katie, Chandra, Tanisha for your support and kind responses when I reached out. It really helps me. I’m so sad about my girl and my heart aches as I know others also fared terribly during the extreme heat weather event in the PNW. I am not sure how, but we need to do better, and more, now. Thank you all, for everything. I don’t want to bad trip my fellow commenters or the writers but I’ve been meaning to reply in more detail as Hecate (& entire cb team) truly care so much about this world and the celebitchy readers to post this and I really appreciate it. I’m so grateful. There is something very special about the community here at Thank you so very much. Much love.