Helpful Tips for Heat Waves

The Goleta Valley is no stranger to heat waves. During the summer and fall months in particular, elevated temperatures, a high UV index, and strong winds can create hazardous conditions and high fire danger. Protect plants, people, and pets from excessive heat and sun exposure with the following tips and information.

Protect Plants

  • Mulch plants to help retain soil moisture.
  • Do not add fertilizers that contain salts, as they can cause heat stress and burns to your plants.
  • Water in advance of hot weather, or right afterward. If you must water during a hot spell, do so at night when temperatures have cooled down.
  • Don’t water during the middle of the day in extreme heat. This can cause undue stress on plants.
  • Move potted plants into the shade, or cover plants with a sheet or shade netting.
  • Do not prune or remove damaged leaves until the extreme heat has passed.

Protect People

  • Stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Avoid going outside during peak hours and stay in the shade.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen and light, loose clothing.
  • Keep curtains closed to block direct sunlight, if possible.
  • Watch the “feels-like” temperature in weather forecasts, which includes a factor for humidity.
  • Never leave children unattended in vehicles.
  • Check on elderly relatives or neighbors who might have a harder time regulating their body temperature.
  • Limit outdoor exercise.

Protect Pets

  • Keep pets hydrated, both indoors and outside.
  • Add ice to their water bowls.
  • Exercise pets in the early morning or late evening, outside of peak hours.
  • If asphalt is too hot for the back of your hand, it is too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • If your pets must be outside, make sure they have plenty of shade.
  • Do not leave pets alone in the car, even for a few minutes.
  • Be aware of the signs of heatstroke.

Prevent Wildfires

  • Keep vehicles off of and away from dry grass or brush.
  • Properly discard of cigarettes or other burning material.
  • Clear dry vegetation and other combustible materials safely away from structures.
  • Don’t light fires of any kind while fire danger warnings are active.
  • If you are having a campfire, bonfire, or are using a backyard fire pit, keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby at all times.
  • Avoid using tools or equipment that may spark or let off excessive heat.

For more tips and information, visit the Cal Fire resource page at