Central Valley cities and counties offer cooling centers during blistering weekend heat


Desperately trying to beat the heat? Several cities and counties in the Central Valley are opening cooling centers to help the public combat the sweltering weekend heat.

Merced County and Fresno are offering some free bus rides, and Fresno is opening some pools for residents.

City of Fresno

The National Weather Service in Hanford forecasts the temperature to be at least 105 degrees in Fresno. 

Cooling centers will be open at the following locations from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday:

  • Ted C. Wills Community Center, 770 N. San Pablo Ave.
  • Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center, 760 Mayor Ave.
  • Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E. Butler Ave.
  • Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N. San Pablo Ave.

Fresno’s FAX bus system will provide free transportation along normal routes to and from cooling center sites when the centers are open, the city said. To ride free, residents must indicate they are traveling to a cooling center.

Related: FAX bus schedule.

The following city swimming pools are free for recreational swim from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.:

  • Frank H. Ball, 760 Mayor Ave.
  • Mary Ella Brown, 1350 E. Annadale Ave.
  • Mosqueda, 4870 E. Butler Ave.

Additionally, the new blue space program — which is a partnership between the city and the Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) — provides recreational swimming at Fresno high school swimming pools.

FUSD swimming pools that will be open this weekend from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.:

  • Hoover High School
  • Edison High School
  • Fresno High School
  • Sunnyside High School
  • McLane High School
  • The Bullard High School pool is open for lap swim only.

City and FUSD pools will be open and free of charge due to the cooling centers being open.

For more information on our cooling centers visit www.fresno.gov/parks/activities-recreational-programs/cooling-centers.

City of Fresno Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services Department (PARCS) are sponsoring the opening of the cooling centers.

Merced County

Because of the extreme heat, The Bus will provide free rides on the existing fixed-route buses to the nearest cooling zone Tuesday, the county said.

The Bus will take passengers along the fixed route to a designated location near an available cooling zone only, the county said. The public can also take the fixed route bus back along the route to get home, as service is available.

Check the fixed route schedules for exact times of availability. Transfers may be required. If you have a disability that prevents you from using the fixed route bus by yourself, please call (209) 384-3111.

Related: The Bus schedules and routes

Here is a list of cooling centers in Merced County:


  • Merced County Library at 1600 Third Street during business hours.


  • Merced  County Library at 16881 W Schendel during business hours.

Dos Palos

  • City-County Building (City Hall) on 1546 Golden Gate Ave. from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  •     Merced  County Library at 2002 Almond  during business hours.        


  • Community Room adjacent to the Library at 205 Sixth St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday
  • Merced County Library at 205 Sixth St. during business hours. 


  • Merced County Library at 205 Sixth St. during business hours. 

Le Grand

  • Merced County Library at 20041 W. Falke during business hours.


  • The Police Department at 1446 C St. from noon to 8 p.m.
    • Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Merced County Library at 1212 W. Main St. during business hours.

Los Banos

  • Merced County Library at 1312 Seventh St. during business hours.


  • Merced Civic Center on 678 W. 18th St. from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday
  • Merced County Library at 2100 O St. during business hours.


  • Community Center at 9167 Stanford St. from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Santa Nella

  • Merced County Library at 29188 W. Centinella Ave. during business hours.


  • Merced County Library at 15916 N. Hwy 59 during business hours.


  • Merced County Library at 7057 Walnut during business hours.


The city of Visalia Transit Center located at 425 E. Oak Ave. will open as a cooling center for the community’s use from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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