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As heat indexes rise this week, county fairs and other events take precautions

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DANVILLE, Ind. -- As the week goes on, the heat index is going to reach into the hundreds, and places like the Hendricks County Fair are taking precautions.

Keeping cool will be the name of the game at the fair, which started Sunday and runs through Saturday.

"We've been really lucky (with the weather) the first two or three days. That's about to change," board member Tim Wicker said.

Forecasts show temperatures climbing as the week goes on, with the heat index potentially climbing past 100 degrees by Thursday.

Wicker said that through a partnership with Hendricks Regional Health, free water bottles will be available on Friday and Saturday. Cooling stations, shaded areas, and two air conditioned buildings will also provide relief from the heat.

"We have EMT’s out here, we have our staff out here, we have roving carts, you’ll see them. Plenty of medics are out here walking around with backpacks," HRH's Chief Nursing Officer Yvonne Culpepper said.

Some fairgoers, like Rachel Brunsman, told us they visited early in the week specifically because of the weather forecast.

"That’s why we came today. We thought today was supposed to be maybe the nicest out of the rest of the week," Brunsman said. "There’s lots of good food and there’s fun rides and it’s just a good time for our family."

Others, like Ed Ferguson, planned to tough out the heat and come later in the week, too.

"We have our grandkids for the week and this is a great place to entertain the grandkids," Ferguson said. "We have our water bottles here, they have places around that they can refill the water bottles."

The first aid station was quiet Tuesday, with only a couple cases of heat exhaustion throughout the day. Medics expected it to get busier, though. That will be the same at other county fairs, which start up later this week, and at Sunday's Brickyard 400, which could be a scorcher.

Wicker and his team planned to meet at 8:30 a.m. every day for a briefing on the day's events, as well as the weather.

"We’re ready for it. We know what to look for and have plenty of experience with it," Wicker said.

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