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Heat and Health Concerns Go Up with the Temperatures

Hikers have been urged to make sure they can handle the trails they embark on, especially when the summer temperatures soar. This week in Santa Barbara County many areas have had temperatures well into the 90’s, all the way to the coastline which is unusual.

It’s risky for hikers who are not carrying enough water.

On Santa Barbara’s Tunnel Trail, there are many warning signs about fires, and safety.

Hikers generally had some water, but on the hottest days, few had enough.

One hiker was with his wife, and coming off a two and a half hour walk. He then realized he could have used more water. “It’s a liter an hour, per person, so we were a little short, ” said Mitch Carlson.

“Well I have a phone which is important and I also brought plenty of water,” said hiker Carlos Lomeli. “I am planning on enjoying the day and walking and maybe jog. I just mainly go out to enjoy nature.”

It’s also important to know when to change plans.

“He (her husband) wanted to go up to Cathedral Peak and I knew we didn’t have enough water for that today. Someone told us that would be six hours – round trip,” said Sheila Carlson on the Tunnel Trail.

West of Goleta Tuesday nights winds howled, and a large tree branch snapped near some homes on Vereda del Padre, tangling up power lines.

There’s also been a new Santa Ana Wildfire threat index system established in Southern California to calculate wind, humidity and fuel to make even more accurate predictions.

“We’re not only making better forecasts now we’re actually understanding why the forecasts are better and that’s an exciting thing,” said UCLA Atmospheric Professor Dr. Rob Fovell.

The wildfire levels will be identified in colors with grey the lowest and purple the highest. The extreme prediction includes the likelihood of explosive fire growth that burn intensely and uncontrollable.

Residents in the highest fire danger zones, or where winds are at the extreme level are urged to have an emergency kit ready, gas in their cars, and a charged cell phone.

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