Minimize smoke and heat wave risks by following these prevention measures
Some simple steps can keep you safe

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021

RENO, Nev.  – As a heat wave and wildfire smoke impact Washoe County, health officials remind residents and visitors that smoke and heat-related illnesses can be deadly, but are preventable.  Take these simple steps to keep safe. 

Drink plenty of fluids – even if you don’t feel thirsty  

  • Increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level.
  • During heavy exercise in hot weather, drink 2-4 glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.

Stay cool indoors

  • The most efficient way to beat the heat is to stay in an air conditioned area.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner or swamp cooler, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public library for a few hours.
  • Seniors, ages 60 and older, who do not have air conditioning or are in need of a fan to help cool their homes are encouraged to contact Washoe County Senior Services at (775) 328-2575 or stop by the Senior Center at 1155 E. 9th Street, Building E.
  • Seniors who are looking to beat the heat are welcome to hang out at the Washoe County Senior Center during normal business hours. The center offers an air conditioned library, pool table, cafeteria and several fun activities.

Stay cool outdoors

  • Plan activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening.
  • In the hot sun wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep your head cool.
  • While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area.

Monitor  high risk individuals

  • If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know anyone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
  • When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your coworkers and have someone do the same for you.

Pace yourself

  • If you are unaccustomed to working or exercising in hot weather, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
  • If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity, get into a cool or shady area, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or feel faint.

Use common sense

  • Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
  • Bring your pets indoors with you to protect them.
  • Give your outdoor animals plenty of fresh water, leave the water in a shady area, and consider wetting the animal down. 

Those at highest risk of heat-related illness are the very young, the elderly, and those who must work outdoors in extremely high temperatures. Sudden rise in body temperature and dehydration can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. If not addressed quickly, brain damage or death can result.  “High temperatures can have serious health consequences if you don’t use common sense,” said Washoe County Health District Communications Manager Phil Ulibarri. “Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car. Temperatures in cars can skyrocket and cause heat stroke and even death. Drink plenty of fluid. Avoid caffeine or alcohol because those cause dehydration. Stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. And, limit strenuous activities between noon to 6 p.m., when temperatures tend to be highest.” 

The Health District website has a list of important tips for avoiding heat-related illness as well as a list of symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Click here or go to: Information about smoke and haze form wildfires and heat can also be found on the Washoe County Health District Air Quality website at, click on Practice Heat Safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has good information at: Information about pet safety and heat can be found at

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Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »