A map of downtown Gales Creek from the National Weather Service showing one of the borders of the Excessive Heat Watch (in red) cutting through the Gales Creek Tavern beginning Thursday, July 29. Map courtesy NWS

The Portland office of the National Weather Service issued an “Excessive Heat Watch” for much of the Willamette Valley and surrounding areas beginning Thursday and extending through Saturday evening.

The NWS said that dangerously high temperatures between 97 and 102 degrees could be reached, and urged residents to prepare for the temperatures. 

For those living in Gales Creek, the excessive heat watch comes with a bit of an interesting twist: The western boundary of the heat watch, which includes most of the Willamette Valley, all of Portland, chunks of Washington and more, ends smack dab in downtown Gales Creek. 

Halfway through the Gales Creek Tavern, to be precise, according to the National Weather Service weather and hazards map

But regardless of where one lives in Gales Creek, the weather will be hot, and there are some steps to take to reduce the chances of heat-related illness. 

The National Weather Service noted that those working outside or doing activities outdoors, the elderly, and those without access to air conditioning were especially at risk during hot weather. 

At least 116 Oregonians died during the record-breaking “heat dome” event in late June.

Washington County Health and Human Services established a webpage with tips on staying cool during high temperatures.

The NWS said that residents should monitor local forecasts to be on top of changing weather patterns, drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and in air-conditioned rooms if possible,  and check up on neighbors and relatives. 

And in high temperatures, the weather agency said, children and pets should never be left in vehicles unattended. 

“Car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes,” the agency warned.