COLORADO — Even though we’re a few weeks away from the official start of summer, the heat is definitely on across southern Colorado. It’s even feeling the summer with unseasonable heat in store this week.
90’s are in the forecast for Colorado Springs and Pueblo will be close to hitting triple digit temperatures for the first time this year. If Pueblo hits 100 on Friday, it will come about three weeks earlier than last year’s first triple digit temp of the year. This extreme heat comes with around 75% of the state currently under severe drought conditions.
Rangers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) say most hikers come prepared for this extreme heat but they still encounter people struggling with heat exhaustion.
“Let somebody know where you’re going when you expect to be back. That’s always very important in case something happens,” CPW Senior Ranger Jason Hagan said. “Water is going to be the most important. Making sure you’re bringing enough water for the day, know where you’re going, how far you’re going to end up hiking that way you’re prepared.”
Colorado’s high altitude leaves us vulnerable to dehydration so try getting out earlier in the day when the sun isn’t as strong. Hagan says proper hiking shoes and lightweight clothes make a huge difference. Wear a hat to block the sun from your face and bring a bandana so you can dip it in water and wrap it around your neck to cool you off.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says signs to watch for are nausea, clammy skin, muscle cramps and headaches. Rangers say call park headquarters or 911 directly if you start experiencing these symptoms on a hike.
If you’re bringing your dog, make sure your furry friend has plenty of water too. Also remember to never leave your dog in the car on a hot day. Temperatures can rise to dangerous levels in just minutes, putting your dog at risk of heat stroke.