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Parks encourage visitors to be heat aware

Visitors to area parks are encouraged to carry plenty of water and be heat aware.

The National Weather Service issued heat advisories across Montana as local temperatures climb as high as the triple digits.

A heat advisory is in effect in the Flathead Valley through Friday night, and officials at area parks are reminding visitors to stay safe in the heat.

Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley said visitors should check the weather before they hike and bring plenty of water.

In Kalispell, Lone Pine State Park is encouraging visitors to stay safe, hydrated and aware.

“I think on every hike, everyone is kind of really wary of how much water they bring,” Lone Pine State Park Ranger Derrick Rathe said. “Two liters for a good 2-mile hike is going to be pretty useful.”

Lone Pine State Park has two water faucets available for visitors if they run out of water.

In addition to staying hydrated, Rathe said visitors should be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, such as dizziness or light-headedness, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness, cramps and headache, among others. Visitors can ask state park staff if they have questions about the symptoms.

One way to avoid the heat is to visit the park in the early morning or late evening, instead of the middle of the day, Rathe said. Visitors can also get out of the sun in the more shaded south side of Lone Pine State Park.

“Being close to Kalispell, a lot of people like to come up, use it to exercise in the morning or the afternoon,” Rathe said. “It’s a great place to get up, kind of get away from town, so we want to make sure people, if they are coming up, that they’re being smart.”

Visitors also have one more option to get out of the heat -- the park’s visitor center.

“You’re more than welcome to come in, it’s a nice cool 70 in here all the time,” Rathe said.

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