FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – Searing temperatures beating down on farm workers and firefighters as they work outdoors in the Central Valley. Even though the start of summer is still weeks away, the valley got a blistering preview with triple-digit temperatures and the hottest day of the year so far.
Eight splash parks in the City of Fresno opened Wednesday because of these high temperatures.
The splash parks give everyone a chance to beat the heat, especially those who have to work in it.
There was not a cloud in the sky on Wednesday as the sun beat down on farm workers and public service workers, dealing with the hot and dry conditions.
“We encourage workers to drink plenty of water, and to drink it more often,” explained Manuel Cuhna Jr.
He is president of the Nisei Farmers League and has been educating and informing Central Valley farm workers for decades about what they need to do to stay cool.
“Workers are told to come probably at six o’clock [in the morning] and then they’ll shut down around 12 or one o’clock. Following those simple things, life is better, and they won’t get as ill,” he concluded.
As temperatures rise, not only does the risk of heat illness but also of fire danger.
Local firefighters are facing a red-hot dilemma. Their gear is used to keep heat out, but it also keeps heat in.
The temperature inside the suit could be 20 degrees hotter than outside.
“They need to have those extra bodies on scene to rotate them through so the work gets done, and the firefighters who just finished that fire don’t get overworked. It is common for them especially during the summer to go from one from straight onto the next,” said Jonathan Lopez of the Fresno Fire Department.
That’s why Fresno Fire has the Community Emergency Response Team which fights alongside firefighters.
As they battle the flames, C.E.R.T. gives them the tools to stay hydrated and healthy.
“They bring out chairs for firefighters to sit in and water and sports drinks so firefighters can replenish those electrolytes they lost during the fire fight,” he said.
The Splash Parks will be open from 1:00 p.m., all the way up to 8:00 p.m every day through Sunday, September 26.
On some really hot days, you can find the splash parks open as early as 10 a.m.