Dealing with these extremely cold temperatures can be complicated for anyone working outside even those who usually have to worry about overly hot conditions. Imagine being a firefighter who have to cope with both extremes during the winter.
Firefighting gear is designed to protect the wearer from very high heat and it also works to keep firefighters warm on cold days but when you combine the two extremes things get tricky.
On Friday morning a house fire near Rogers High School brings a quick response from Fire Station 15. Fire engines crowd the street but you might also notice a bus and, no, firefighters didn't take the bus to the blaze.
"We rehab our people 'cause they still have about 20 more hours left on their shift," said Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer.
The modified bus acts as a warming station for crews in the winter and a cooling station in the summer, an important piece of equipment to have when temps are in the single digits and water from the hoses is already freezing on the sidewalk.
"Underneath that truck we've already dropped a lot of kitty litter to help with the friction for people that are walking there," said Schaeffer.
Entering the house firefighters will face a 500 to 800 degree furnace.
"You instantly sweat, that combined with the steam from the fire, you step outside and you automatically freeze. Your gear freezes, your body core temperature drops," Schaeffer explained.
Backup breathing apparatus can also freeze, and this could be the first call of the shift with many to follow.
"It just really complicates our job," said Schaeffer.
That being said, it's equipment like the warming bus that helps fire crews overcome both the fire and the ice.