Valley vendors, food trucks find ways to stay cool in triple-digit heat

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the past four years, Travis Valldorf has been sweating it out at the same grill inside the Dusty Buns food truck, where temperatures can reach 160 degrees during the summer months.

"Everyone pops up at this window, (and says) 'How you feeling in there? It must be 150 degrees,' Valldorf said." "I'm like, 'it kind of is.'"

There's no air conditioning and no fans inside the truck, just the occasional breeze through the small windows. But Valldorf doesn't wait on the breeze; he soaks a towel with cold water.

"Wet towel around the neck, wet towel around the head, like that's really the safest and only way you can do it," Valldorf said.

Wednesday was a hot and busy day serving gourmet sandwiches at the Kaiser Permanente farmers market.

"And even though there's people out here, I know they're waiting in the heat and doing all that, but they make it worth it, they make everything worth it," Valldorf said.

While waiting patiently in line at Dusty Buns, Faithel Johnson-Santos took to shading herself. She took her food to go, but she's thinking of going out of town. She had no idea near record highs are expected for Friday.

"Scary, right?" said Johnson-Santos. "Well hopefully I'll go out of town and cool off this weekend."

Kettle corn vendor Dennis Painter won't be leaving town. He's used to the heat. The surface of his large kettle can reach 700 degrees.

"You can either turn the heat down and make bad kettle corn or you can ignore it and make good kettle corn," Painter said.

"So we advise people to stay indoors, limit outdoor activities, especially during the heat of the day," said Kaiser Permanente Pulmonologist Dr. John Gasman. "The problem with Fresno is the heat of the day starts at about 9:30 until about 9 at night, doesn't cool off much."

But for those who must work outside during those hours, Gasman recommends drinking water like crazy.

"You will lose more water, more hydration, than you know," Gasman said. "So you really gotta be drinking all the time. And if you just get busy doing the work, you could have health effects -- heat stroke, heat exhaustion."

He says air quality is also a concern when we get this hot. Gasman recommends staying indoors, especially in the late afternoon when temperatures are peaking and the ozone level rises.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.