With high temperatures in the upper 80s and mid-90s expected through at least Wednesday, local city and parks departments are offering tips to beat the heat.
There are options to enjoy free air conditioning.
• Restaurants, stores and other public places -- say, the Westfield Vancouver Mall, or any Fort Vancouver Regional Library District location -- are likely to have air conditioning.
• Battle Ground is opening the community center, 912 E. Main St., as a cooling center, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Wednesday. Bring meals, books, games or hobbies and settle in.
• The Water Resources Education Center has a view of the Columbia River and free hands-on exhibits.
Get out early:
• Plan strenuous activities for early, in the cooler part the day. Late works, too.
• The first signs of heat illness include dizziness, nausea, headaches and muscle cramps. If you feel them, take a cool break.
Get wet …
Local community centers and parks have public swim options to escape the summer heat.
• The Marshall Community Center has free swim 4:45 to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays. It also has a public swim, family swim, aqua play (for parents and children), and splash away, a discounted public swim option.
• The Firstenburg Community Center has public swim hours at its leisure pool. Wrist bands are available before public swim begins, allowing 120 people in at a time.
• Klineline Pond in Salmon Creek Regional Park has a roped-off swimming area, picnic tables and a playground. The county had planned to post lifeguards beginning Monday, but is still trying to hire qualified people.
… but stay safe:
• The combination of hot weather and cold water is potentially dangerous. On hot days in early summer, many rivers and lakes in Southwest Washington are full of snow-melt. Cold water, especially when high or swift, can immobilize even strong swimmers quickly.
• Swim in an area with lifeguards and wear a life jacket. Avoid swimming in dangerous areas, such as fast-flowing rivers or ocean beaches with rip currents.
Embrace the evening:
• Free movies are shown at Esther Short Park on Fridays at 6 p.m. starting July 12. "The Adventures of Tin Tin" will be the first film on the big screen; see cityofvancouver.us/movies for the rest of the schedule.