The Heat Wave


Homes destroyed by the Mill Fire.

Crystal Diaz

California’s heat wave, has affected thousands of people around the community. The Capital of Sacramento has tied a record on Tuesday, reaching over at least 100 degrees. The west had been getting warmer and drier over the last three decades, and has caused a good deal of damage. There was the Mill Fire which started on Friday in northern California and killed 2 people.

Just recently, on Monday, there had been another wildfire, Fairview Fire in which erupted and spread rapidly in the Hemet area of Southern California, in which also killed 2 people. While trying to flee the flames, they got trapped and sadly didn’t make it out.

In Sacramento, people began using the air-conditioned lobbies of some of their public buildings as cooling centers. Not only that, but many were offering free transportation for people, especially for the homeless. Many people around the county began turning off their air-conditioners in the afternoon to conserve energy. By doing so, it prevented stress on the state’s electrical grid, which could have led to “rolling blackouts”. These rolling blackouts would prevent any power loss, in any sites like hospitals.

Christine Jimenez, an 8th grader attending Sycamore Jr High School, had a very difficult time keeping cool during the heat wave. Saturday, September 3 around 4:30 p.m was when her AC decided to stop working and didn’t know what to do. Jimenez and her family didn’t have an AC for about 2 hours, and felt like an eternity. After those hours went by, thankfully her dad was able to fix it, and later they had their AC back running.

During those hot days, Jimenez saw how the weather was affecting her health wise, and her pet. She saw how it was too hot, and the air quality was way too dangerous to take her dog out for a walk. The considerable thing about the heat wave was her pool. She was able to enjoy being in her pool for a couple of hours and then go back inside and enjoy the fresh air from the AC. While being indoors, she decided to turn off the lights of the rooms she wasn’t in. Her house was dark, but she didn’t mind because she knew this would conserve energy in the state.

Carlos Diaz, a 17-year-old senior from Riverside, California, who attends Polytechnic High School, had a different but in a way similar to the experiences of Jimenez. While staying cool, he used the AC and his fan, which at times it would stop working. He drank lots of water because he wanted to stay hydrated, but there were some negative effect throughout the heatwave; it was difficult to concentrate. Whenever Diaz got back home from school, he always began doing his homework, but he lacked the energy to do so during the heatwave. Once the heat wave was over, he felt a sense of relief, “Knowing I wouldn’t procrastinate and be able to concentrate on my homework.”

Just like Jimenez, Diaz believed that these heatwaves will continue to happen consistently throughout the years, because of global warming. While many conserved energy, Diaz did otherwise. He believed that he needed the energy for his everyday use, such as homework and in order for him to see around his home.

Noticing the way the heat wave was affecting him and his loved ones, he also noticed it was affecting his dog. His family normally has their dog indoors with the AC on, but once everyone left to work and school, his dog was left at home with the AC turned off.

The heat wave was a hard week for some, but for others it wasn’t as difficult to keep cool. During those first few days, many were harmed, which also affected the environment. Communities should expect these temperatures to rise and continue to be intense because of all the greenhouse gases that surround our atmosphere.