BOISE — It's all anyone's talking about: the record-breaking heat!
Thursday hit around 105 degrees - and Friday is expected to reach 108. An excessive heat warning is in effect for the southwest part of the state.
On a day like Thursday, pretty much all anyone wants to do is either stay inside blasting the air conditioning or jump in some water. For most of us, it felt brutal out there Thursday - even if you were out for just a few minutes, and even in the shade.
This record-breaking heat wave smothering the Treasure Valley is making a lot of us want to just chill inside. But some have to be outside for work, like roofers and construction workers.
“When it get this hot we give our guys a lot of water, we bring it to them. But eventually when it gets too hot - 90 to 100 degrees - we take our guys off the roof so we don't scar the shingles,” Rooftops Energy Solutions owner Ken Crotz said. "If you think about the sun hitting those shingles, it's 20 to 30 degrees warmer up on the roof."
Crotz says heat exhaustion is a big concern of theirs, but fortunately that hasn't happened to him or any of his employees.
"It gets unbearable to be up there. So for our safety we want to get off so we're not getting heat stroke. Another reason is we want to protect the product and not ruin it,” a roofer with Rooftops Energy Solutions, James Deveraux, added.
Roofers start as early as they can in the summer months, wrapping up in the early afternoon.
"We look at scheduling week before and try to schedule around the weather," Crotz said.
“You’ve got to drink a lot of water, take breaks when you feel yourself getting light-headed,” Deveraux added.
It's the time of year young athletes start intense practices outside. Some, like high school football players, are even doing two-a-days.
"When temperatures start to hit the 104 range we are starting to get to that danger zone and there's two to three populations we really worry about - although all of us are at risk for heat-related illness," Saint Alphonsus Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Davis said, "Definitely young children, the elderly, and also this time of year with kids going back to school and starting their sports, the young athletes as well out there practicing in this temperature."
Dr. Davis says young kids' and older people's bodies aren't as adept at regulating their temperature so they are more prone to heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. He says their urgent cares, emergency rooms and hospitals are seeing a lot of heat-related illnesses right now, so he advises everyone to plan their activities accordingly.
"A lot of our elderly folks sometimes don't have good air conditioning in their houses and during this type of heat wave a fan is just not gonna cut it,” Davis said. "I'll usually recommend to my patients if you don't have great AC maybe during the hottest time of the day - there's a lot of community locations that do have AC - go to your library, go visit the mall, go somewhere you can get cool."
And let's not forget about our four-legged friends.
“It can be just a little longer walk than usual on just a barely hotter day than usual, and it doesn't take much. So just that awareness that sometimes these athletic pets even are not very far from overdoing it,” WestVet veterinarian/hospitalist, Curtis Brandt, said.
Dogs come into WestVet with heat exhaustion, where they're lethargic or dehydrated after overdoing it on a hike or walk and they won't feel well for a couple days. But those are mild consequences of exertion, Brandt says.
"The bad consequences of overdoing it in the heat are dramatic and can include pets not even making it home from the hike," Brandt added.
Another risk: if pups are walking on hot, hard ground for too long, it could really injure their paw pads.
"The risk of blistering or abrasion or kind of wearing away of some of that paw pad material that can expose some of that sensitive tissue underneath and can require a few days of rest and maybe some bandages, worst case scenario," Brandt said.
None of us want that to happen. So the overall message during these unbearable temps: Whether it's to work, work out, or walk your dog - don't do it in the heat of the day.
“You have to go out not in the heat of the day - without question; go out at night, in the very early morning before it gets hot, go out after the sun gets down,” Brandt added.
We also want to send along a friendly reminder to drink plenty of water, and if you do have to be outside, don't overexert yourself and make sure you can duck for cover in some nearby shade. If you're sensitive to the smoky air, then you know this really applies to you.