Oregonians temporally allowed to pump their own gas due to historic heat wave

·2 min read



PORTLAND, Ore. – It hit at least 112 degrees in Portland on Sunday, the hottest temperature recorded here ever. Ever! Well, officially it's since they started recorded such things in the 1940s, but it seems safe to assume it didn't hit 120 back in 1854 or something. The average temperature at this time of year is 73 degrees, or nearly 40 degrees lower. This has proven unpleasant in an area where many people don't have air conditioning (or have houses that have insufficient air conditioning for Phoenix temperatures, ask me how I know).

It has also resulted in a temporary suspension of one of Oregon's many quirks: the prohibition on pumping your own gas. The Office of State Fire Marshall decreed that Oregonians will be legally able to pump their own gas through Tuesday evening (June 29). Gov. Kate Brown approved the temporary suspension/allowance. There was no official release from the fire marshall and therefore no official reason was given beyond "heat wave," but one assumes it's to prevent gas station attendants from being required by law to stand around a slab of black asphalt in 112-degree heat.

While there are some places in Oregon where you're able to pump your own gas (tribal lands or extra-remote areas such as in Government Camp where I filled up the Kia Soul pictured above), for the most part we wait around in our cars for a nice person to come and fill'er up. It's honestly not a terrible thing when it's 45 degrees and drizzling out ... though it's a bit of a pain when you need a refill during a road trip and the station's busy.

Of course, because Oregonians rarely get to pump their own gas (if ever), that means there are an awful lot of people who don't actually know how to pump their own gas. They're even worried about it, and considering you're dealing with gallons of extremely flammable liquid, they're not being completely irrational. As such, the folks at The Oregonian/OregonLive have come up with the above handy video for those who'll need to fill up in the next two days and are slightly concerned that doing so might result in blowing themselves up.