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Jul-22-2006 13:53printcomments

Oregon Heat Wave: Salem Hits 102 Friday

Jefferson firefighters had to battle a two-acre wildfire during the hottest part of the day.


Ice cream sales are up in the capitol city
Photo by: Kevin Hays

(SALEM) - Baby it’s hot, hot, hot, hot, hot!!!

My wife said that a couple of times to me Friday after coming home from her work, which is air conditioned, to our home which is only cooled by fans.

Salem-area residents Friday, who weren’t at work, were seeking shade, air conditioning, or anything cool to beat the 102 degree temperature.

Bank and business temperature signs read anywhere from 103 in Keizer, 105 in downtown and south Salem.

Lines were long at local ice cream shops, and at grocery stores where ice, bottled water, ice cream, pop, beer were flying off store shelves.

Silver Creek Falls State Park east of Salem was a popular hot spot Friday for families to cool off in the cold mountain water.

The high Saturday in Salem is expected to reach 102 degrees, 96 degrees on Sunday, and 90 degrees on Monday.

Think it was hot here, Hillsboro set an all time record high temperature of 108 degrees, Portland set a record at 104 degrees, in The Dalles it was 108 degrees, and in Corvallis the high was 101 degrees.

Hundreds traveled to the Oregon Coast to escape from the valley heat wave.

Most hotels and motels are booked, and campgrounds are also full.

The high temperature in Newport was 68 degrees, and temperatures are expected to remain in the high 60’s to mid 70’s throughout the weekend.

Major traffic delays were reported on Highway 22 westbound heading to the coast, and authorities are expecting the same conditions Saturday, and eastbound on Sunday.

They are asking drivers to please be patient, especially near the Spirit Mountain Casino.

Governor Kulongoski declared a state emergency Friday to prepare for the wildfire threat posed by the record heat and expected lightning strikes in the mountains.

The order allows a National Guard Fire Hawk helicopter and crew to be at the readied for rapid and effective forest fire response.

Forecasters are predicting dry lightning to move north along the Cascade Range.

The DEQ has issued a smog alert through Sunday for Salem, Portland, the Rogue Valley and Medford.

A grass fire located at 179 Ankeny Hill Road (west of I-5 and across from the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge) near Jefferson kept firefighters busy for approximately one hour.

The fire was caused by a tree limb coming in contact with a power line causing sparks to fall into tall grass. The property is owned by Ben Miller.

Firefighters from Jefferson and Turner battled the six foot tall flames rushing through the tall grass.

According to Assistant Chief Jon Zeilman of the Jefferson Fire District, the quick response of fire units kept the blaze from reaching a grove of oak trees on a hillside.

The two acre fire did not threaten any structures and the field was of natural vegetation. There was no monetary loss and no injuries reported.




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