Play it safe while summer lasts

It’s nearly that time of year again, when students will be heading back to school. Summer is nearly over, with just a few performances left on outdoor stages in Dallas, Independence and Monmouth.

And what a summer it’s been, with temperatures consistently in the 90s, and often in triple digits. Rain totals have been about 0.01 for three months. It’s enough to make some question if we’re still in Oregon.

As you head out to enjoy these last few weeks, be safe about it. This is one of Oregon’s driest years on record, and fires seem to start just by looking at the grass in the wrong way.

It may be fun to roast marshmallows by a campfire and sing songs, but preventing a forest fire by skipping it this year is may be a better choice.

The rivers are low and as unpredictable as ever. Remember to always wear a lifejacket if you play in or on the rivers.

With another heat wave coming through the valley this week, it’s still important to hydrate, especially for young athletes who are training for fall sports. Get plenty of rest, and see our story on Page 10A for more tips from local coaches on safely training in the heat.

Of course the old-timers will say this isn’t abnormal. Oregon has had dry spells just like it has its wet spells. As we all try and do our part to conserve water at home, we may have another dry, warm winter ahead. The National Weather Service is unsure about how this year’s El Nino will affect us. It may mean warm and wet, but maybe just warm.

On the bright side, the Old Farmers Almanac is predicting a colder than normal, whiter winter for the Pacific Northwest. Is a white Christmas in store? Depends on who you ask.

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