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Denver opens daytime ‘cooling stations’ at city rec centers amid record-setting heat

Tuesday was the earliest 100 degree day in Denver since 2013, and the third earliest in the city's recorded history.

DENVER — The City and County of Denver opened up city recreation centers as free cooling stations to help people beat the heat as temperatures reach the triple digits.

Those cooling centers are open through Thursday, plus all of the city’s currently open recreation centers are available to help people get inside for free. All Denver Public Library branches are available as a reprieve from the heat, the city said in a news release.

RELATED: Denver hits 101 degrees Tuesday, city's earliest 100-degree reading since 2013

RELATED: Heat wave continues in Colorado with 100° temps Tuesday

Denver hit 101 degrees on Thursday afternoon, making it the city’s earliest 100-degree day since 2013 and the third earliest on record.

It's all part of an exceptionally early season heat wave that could bring 100-degree temperatures back to Denver again on Wednesday – leading to the first-ever Excessive Heat Warning ever issued for any part of the state of Colorado.

The graphic below shows the locations of the city’s recreation centers and their hours of operation: 

Credit: 9NEWS

The city released the following tips for avoiding heat-related illness: 

  • Stay inside in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Air-conditioning is the number one way to protect yourself against heat-related illness. If your home is not air-conditioned, visit one of Denver’s cooling stations. 
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. 
  • Fans will not prevent heat-related illness in extreme heat, instead take cool showers or baths to cool down. 
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter. 
  • Don’t drink alcohol or beverages that contain caffeine. 
  • Limit your outdoor activity, especially during the middle of the day when the sun is hottest. 

If you must be outside during the heat of the day, follow these tips:

  • Wear and frequently reapply sunscreen. 
  • Pace your activity and rest often. 
  • Pay attention to muscle cramping, which may be an early sign of heat-related illness. To combat cramping and heat-related illnesses, drink more what than usual. 
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and a hat.