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Severe heat in Idaho, USA before National Day celebrations on July 4

In Boise, the capital of Idaho, preparations are in full swing for the weekend. After last year’s National Day festivities were canceled, families marched to meet, restaurants are trying to lure guests and fireworks displays are planned.

Kevin and Jessica Connor brought their two children, six-year-old Marvin and five-year-old Evelyn, from Arizona to celebrate with a hundred family members.

—So we need plenty of space — and lots of sunscreen, says Jessica Connor.

Kevin and Jessica Connor with their children Marvin and Aivhlin will celebrate National Day in Boise.

Photo: Evelyn Jones

in the last days A heat wave hit the West Coast of the United States hard. Seattle and Portland broke heat records for several days. To the north, in Canada, hit The city of Leyton recorded the national temperature three times in three days. One day later, a forest fire forced the townspeople to evacuate due to lightning. In both the United States and Canada, a number of deaths are linked to heat, and hospitals have taken in hundreds of people seeking emergency care. In Washington state alone, more than 600 people sought care in three days when the heat was at its worst.

Now that temperatures have cooled a bit on the West Coast, sweltering heat remains over Idaho, which has been hit by an unusually long-lasting heat wave. According to the weather forecast, temperatures will be around 40 degrees all week long – much higher than normal.

– It is quite unnatural, says barista Lina, who with student Adam took refuge in one of the few shaded places in the city.

Linnan and Adam are concerned that the heat combined with the drought could lead to flammable conditions during the National Day weekend festivities.

Linnan and Adam are concerned that the heat combined with the drought could lead to flammable conditions during the National Day weekend festivities.

Photo: Evelyn Jones

She, who grew up in Boise, says the city is prone to extreme weather — but it hadn’t experienced such heat as early as the previous year. She is now concerned that the heat, along with a dry spring, will create dangerous conditions for National Day celebrations this weekend.

– It’s going to be a scary patriotic day, filling Adam and Lena:

People will set off fireworks, and many people will act wisely.

last of Concerned about the combination of heat and fireworks on National Day is the city’s deputy fire chief, Romeo Gervais.

– I’m always worried about celebrating National Day. We’ll see fires. The only question, he says, is whether we will lose any buildings.

Romeo Gervais.

Romeo Gervais.

Photo: Evelyn Jones

He also says that the prolonged heat is unusual in the region. The heat usually only comes later in August, and doesn’t last long. The fact that the heat persists makes it difficult for the rescue service to do its job. Now Romeo Jervis has to change schedules and exercises so that the firefighters can withdraw when needed.

Romeo Jervis and his firefighters are working hard to inform city residents of the dangers of heat — and to make sure people take it easy with fireworks.

– National Day is the day we most worry about fires every year. Now the danger has increased.

Hot dog outside the city library.

Hot dog outside the city library.

Photo: Evelyn Jones

But it is not only Fires that worry. Across town, charities have organized “cool rooms” where vulnerable people can come to get water and get away from the heat. The authorities are urging residents to take the heat seriously, and many public institutions have reduced electricity use to avoid power outages, while electricity companies are urging their customers to reduce electricity consumption during hot hours.

Romeo Jervis says it’s very important in the heat to watch if someone is feeling unwell.

Take care of your fellow human beings, and be sure to help your neighbor, he says.

However, he doesn’t think the heat will create as many problems in Boise as it did along the coast, as the people in Boise used to.

“I don’t know if we are more prepared than them, but we are more aware of the dangers of heat,” he says.

Next to the river that flows Parker Parson and his two friends, Johnny Camucci and Jason Thorne, walk around town, wearing swimwear. They, like many other Boise residents, relaxed by swimming with the current.

– This is probably the longest I’ve been outdoors all week. I’ve mostly been indoors, says Parker Parson, so it’s too hot.

Parker Parson, Johnny Camucci and Jason Thorne went swimming on the river.

Parker Parson, Johnny Camucci and Jason Thorne went swimming on the river.

Photo: Evelyn Jones

Johnny Kamochi who visits from Los Angeles, is surprised that the weather in Idaho is much warmer than where he lives.

— I haven’t experienced that kind of heat in Idaho, he says.

Friends will leave town to celebrate National Day, and go to the mountains in Northern California where they hope for cooler temperatures. But even they believe that National Day can be more dangerous than usual.

“I think it would be a big problem with fireworks, especially in the desert around here,” says Jason Thorne.

Read more:

The record-breaking village of Lytton in Canada is on fire and has been evacuated

Jannike Kihlberg: Heat is the silent killer of the climate crisis

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