Four trailered show horses dripped sweat and rustled while parked at the downtown Vancouver Chevron station in Sunday afternoon's heat.
A team with the A&T Equestrian Centre from Vancouver, B.C., headed north on Interstate 5 after a show in Philomath, Ore. They traveled nearly 100 miles when they noticed a flat trailer tire at around 2:30 p.m. After exiting the highway and pulling into the busy gas station at 210 E. Mill Plain Blvd., they discovered the tire wouldn't fill with air.
Afternoon temperatures hovered around 90 degrees -- higher in the trailer -- and relative humidity was around 70 percent, said meteorologist Treena Hartley with the National Weather Service in Portland. Typically, Vancouver's humidity is in the 30s.
Without a breeze, the horses were in danger of overheating. The equestrian team asked gas station attendent Megan Creviston, 22, for some help. She allowed them to park underneath the canopy, helped carry several buckets of water to the horses and sold bags of ice to cool off the horses.
"When I had time to go outside, I was checking on them," Creviston said.
The equestrian team ended up unloading the horses into the parking lot, under the shade of the adjacent Block and Olson Glass building. Creviston called a tow truck with Pacific Towing that could pull the 12,000-pound horse trailer.
After about two hours, the team and their horses were back on the road, heading home to Canada.
Without Creviston's help, the equestrian team said, their horses might have suffered serious dehydration or died of heat exhaustion.
No rain in sight; watch for fire
Monday's high temperature also reached 90 degrees, but the relative humidity had fallen to 42 percent.
The rest of the week will be hot, with temperatures slowly dropping down to the high 70s by Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The high temperature for the Fourth of July -- Thursday -- is predicted to be 81 degrees.
"Around the Fourth, we usually get a few days of rain," said Vancouver Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Lines. With no rain in sight, vegetation around the area will be dry, he said.
Lines said that when fireworks are in the picture, parents should supervise children. He also said residents should have a way to extinguish any kind of sparks that get out of control.
"Everybody should be cautious with the high temperatures the next couple days. … It's going to be really easy to catch fire," he said.
A heat advisory remains in effect, with forecasters and emergency responders reminding people to remain indoors when they can, drink plenty of liquids and, if necessary, find a public place with air conditioning.