By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Cooling shelters offer refuge from heat

Marcus Larson/News-Register
##Eight-year-old Avry Thresher is chased by her friend 3-year-old Zarayah Root while playing in the Discovery Meadows Park “splash pad” on a hot Wednesday afternoon. The fountain will be open over the weekend, when temperatures are forecast to soar over 100 degrees. Several cooling centers also will be open to help people beat the heat.
Marcus Larson/News-Register ##Eight-year-old Avry Thresher is chased by her friend 3-year-old Zarayah Root while playing in the Discovery Meadows Park “splash pad” on a hot Wednesday afternoon. The fountain will be open over the weekend, when temperatures are forecast to soar over 100 degrees. Several cooling centers also will be open to help people beat the heat.

Water stations and cooling shelters are open as temperatures are expected to hit 112 today and 107 on Monday.

The National Weather Service said temperatures will drop slightly Tuesday to a high of 93 degrees. Overnight temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s.

McMinnville Water & Light has set up water stations in three city parks, so people can stay hydrated during the sweltering weather. Free water stations will be available through Monday in Joe Dancer Park, near the ballfields; Wortman Park on the east side,  off Lafayette Avenue; and Lower City Park near the parking lot.

Several organizations have announced they will serve as free cooling shelters during the heat wave.

The McMinnville First Baptist Church, 125 S.E. Cowls St., will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday for those who need to cool off. Visitors should enter from the Washington Street side.

The Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission will open a cooling shelter from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 25-27. The mission is located at 1340 N.E. Logan St., McMinnville. For more information, call 503-472-9766.

Yamhill Carlton HIgh School will be open as a cooling center from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Palmer Creek Lodge, 606 Fourth St. in Dayton, will be open for cooling from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The drop-in center will offer snacks and activities for children. Masks and social distancing are required. Pets are allowed if they are on a leash or in a carrier.

In Carlton, the American Legion Hall at 158 /E, Main St. will be open during the hottest part of the day Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Cooling shelters will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Newberg Northwest Christian Church, 2315 Villa Road, and the McMinnville Northwest Christian Church, 2831 N..E. Newby St.

McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, First and Ford streets, will serve its usual takeout breakfast from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday and distribute water, snacks and Gatorade that day, as well.

Newberg Emergency Shelter will be open from 1 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg will be open until 6 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. The Newberg Public Library will be open noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, as well.

Provoking Hope in McMinnville will be open from 11 a.m. to noon today for water, food, snacks and Gatoraid.

McMinnville First Christian Church will offer its regular Saturday Community Dinner from 5 to 6 p.m.

The fire station in Grand Ronde also will distribute water and Gatorade, as well. Newberg Public Works is working on setting up water distribution centers, as well.

The McMinnville Public Library is not an official cooling shelter, but people can come in during its regular hours, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; it’s closed Sundays and Mondays. In addition, Sunday sandwiches will be served from 1 to 3 pm. at the library.

Some cooling sites can be reached by YCTA buses, which will be running in McMinnville on Saturday and on commuter routes, as well, Monday. Fares are free.

In anticipation of the extreme heat continuing, McMinnville School District has canceled all Monday activities, including summer school classes, activities, sports and meals pick-ups.



Portland General Electric, which serves some areas of Yamhill County, said its crews are preparing to deal with possible power outages caused by higher demand for air conditioners, fans and other cooling equipment this weekend.

PGE suggests that customers draw shades to keep homes cool during the day. They also ask that those with air conditioning turn the thermostat up a few degrees in order to reduce power consumption, and to delay using electricity for laundry or other tasks until the weather cools.

If the power does go out, consumers should be prepared with an “outage kit” that includes flashlights and extra batteries, a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, bottled water, a manual can opener, disposable plates and food that can be stored without refrigeration and eaten without heating.


Oregon Fire Marshal’s office provided these safety recommendations:

n Make sure outdoor pets have access to shade and clean drinking water. Walk dogs in the early morning or in the evening after pavement cools off to avoid burned paws. Don’t leave pets in cars with windows up — ever, but especially on hot days.

n Drink plenty of water. Make sure not to get overheated during outdoor activities; carry water bottles, rest frequently and seek shade. If you feel faint or light-headed, sit down, drink water or put a cool, damp cloth on your forehead or neck.

n Before entering your vehicle, take a moment to roll down the window and make sure the seats and steering wheel aren’t too hot — you don’t want to get burned.

n Use sunscreen. It won’t keep you cool, but it will help protect our skin from sun exposure.

n Monitor garden plants and give them an extra drink, if necessary. Watering in the morning is best, so plants can absorb the water and it won’t evaporate too quickly.

n Prevent fires. The heat, wind and persistent dry conditions contribute to higher fire danger. Keep grass and brush cut back from your house and other structures, and make sure not to let burning cigarettes or combustibles get close to dry plants or other fuel sources.

n Forego fireworks, especially those that are illegal in Oregon anyway. If you do set off any fireworks, be responsible and make sure they are not lighted near dry grass or other material that can burn. Have a hose or a bucket of water handy.

Summer fireworks injure thousands of people, especially children and teens, according to the Oregon State Fire Marshal.

Legal fireworks can be purchased at several stands in McMinnville, as well as at retail stores. Oregon outlaws the sale or use of any fireworks that fly into the air, explode or travel more than 12 feet horizontally, without a permit. Bottle rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers are illegal, as well, the fire marshal’s office said

The use of illegal fireworks carries a fine of up to $2,500. A person who misuses fireworks or allows them to cause damage can be liable for the cost of damage and firefighting. Parents can be held liable for damaged caused by their children using fireworks, as well.

According to Mark Johnston, assistant chief deputy with the fire marshal’s office, “Every year, we see fires sparked because of improper use or use of illegal fireworks. Our message is to keep it legal and to keep it safe as people celebrate.”

Some private owners are closing their lands to the public, as a way to prevent wildfire. These include Seneca, Lone Rock Resources, Giustina Resources, Campbell Global, and Giustina Land & Timber Company, on lands in Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Linn and Polk counties as of Monday, June 28.

“Oregonians and landowners alike cannot afford another devastating year like 2020. Given the risks we face this year, we are choosing to be proactive in order to limit danger to the public, firefighters, and the forests,” Brennan Garrelts with Lone Rock Resources said in a press release.

Consult a map online at for more information.


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