Record-Shattering Heat Wave Claims At Least Two Lives in Pacific Northwest

PORTLAND, Oregon – This week, the Pacific Northwest experienced a record-shattering heat wave that may have led to the deaths of at least two individuals, officials announced. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner in Portland, Oregon reported that they are investigating the deaths of two people that may have been caused by extreme heat. In addition, a third person is also suspected to have died from the heat, according to The Oregonian.

One death was reported in southeast Portland on Monday when the temperature soared to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the previous daily record of 102 degrees. The National Weather Service also reported that several cities in Oregon, including Eugene, Salem, and Hillsboro, as well as Vancouver, Washington, saw daily high temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

On Tuesday, another death was reported by a Portland hospital when the temperature reached around 102 degrees. The medical examiner stated that further tests will be conducted to determine if the deaths are officially related to the extreme heat. No further information has been released about the identities of the deceased individuals.

This week also marked the first time in 130 years of recorded weather that Seattle had three consecutive days with low temperatures at or above 67 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. The heat wave has also raised concerns about the potential spread of wildfires due to dry conditions and the expected cold front that will bring winds into the region.

Additionally, unhealthy air quality from wildfires was affecting areas of Oregon and more than half of the state of Washington, according to state officials. Scientists have long warned that climate change will lead to more prolonged periods of extreme weather, including hotter temperatures. While cooler weather was expected in the following days, the risk of wildfires and poor air quality remained a concern for the region.