D.C. heat wave 2012: Public urged to leave fire hydrants alone

(Photo: Jcolman/flickr)

As the Washington region is bracing for another sweltering day, D.C. officials are warning residents not to open fire hydrants to cool off.{ }

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory until 10 p.m. Thursday. A code orange air quality alert has also been issued.

Highs yesterday peaked in the upper 90s and today will reach around 100°. What makes it worse is the continued high humidity.

Tomorrow brings the threat of some scattered thundershowers, possibly strong to severe, with hail and gusty winds a threat through the afternoon. This will hold the mercury back in the lower 90s – but still hot.

The District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and DC Water officials say unauthorized hydrant use can hamper firefighting, damage the water system and cause injury. It can also flood streets and create traffic dangers.

As temperatures rise, residents are urged to limit their time outdoors and stay hydrated. They can also take refuge at the several public cooling stations throughout the region.