It's August in Texas and it is, literally, hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index ranging from 105 to 110 degrees through Sunday, with highs varying from 99 to 102 degrees.

A special weather statement issued shortly after 3 a.m. Monday provided a number of tips for individuals involved in outdoor activities, including frequent breaks, drinking plenty of water and wearing loose fitting and light colored clothing.

According to the American Red Cross Web site, www.redcross.org, several hundred deaths occur each year due to summer heat.

The Red Cross also offers several safety tips for heat protection, including eating small meals and eating more often, slowing down and staying indoors when possible.

There are also three heat-related illnesses that summer fun-goers should be aware of: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat cramps and exhaustion can be cared for by getting an individual into a cooler place and having them drink half a glass of water every 15 minutes. Clothing should also be removed or loosened and cool, wet cloths should be applied to the body, the Red Cross Web site states.

If an individual is thought to be suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately and place the individual in a cool bath or wrap them with wet sheets.

Pets and young children should never be left in an enclosed vehicle where life-threatening temperatures can be reached quickly.

Pets are also protected under a city of Stephenville ordinance, which states that "a person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves an animal in a motor vehicle or in the bed of a pickup for longer than five minutes, knowing that: the outside temperature is above 85 degrees; the windows are not rolled down far enough to allow the animal to be cooled; and did not provide water for the animal; or the outside temperature is below 40 degrees." An offense committed under this section is considered a Class C misdemeanor.

For residents trying to cope with the hot temperatures, the Erath County Sheriff's Office also provides free box fans for senior citizens and children who do not have air conditioners in their homes.

For more information on obtaining a fan, call the Sheriff's Office at 965-3338.