Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Southern B.C. this weekend – warning of a major heatwave across the region.
An exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure will build over Western Canada this Friday and Saturday allowing hot air to move over the southern part of the province.
Residents in the Southern Interior will see temperatures of almost 40 degrees, while those in the South Coast will see temperatures in the low thirties.
The highest temperatures are expected Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.
Global BC meteorologist Yvonne Schalle says temperature records are expected to be broken, especially in the interior.
A weak weather disturbance moving onshore Sunday evening will bring the chance of thunderstorms over the South Coast. A slight cooling trend will begin Monday, however Environment Canada says the unseasonably hot weather will persist through Canada day.
As of noon on Saturday, campfires will be banned in parts of the South Coast.
Campfires will only be allowed on northern Vancouver Island, the mid-coast portion of the mainland and on Haida Gwaii.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre, within the following areas:
On Vancouver Island:
On the mainland
All other types of open fires remain prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdictional area, including backyard burning or land-clearing burn piles. Burning barrels, burning cages, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets are also prohibited.
Officials on Vancouver Island are already warning of low river levels and the Cowichan Valley has already been at Drought Level 3 for weeks.
Fire crews across B.C. are also on high alert due to the hot and dry conditions.
READ MORE: Full fire coverage in B.C.
It’s been a warm and dry start to wildfire season, seeing near-record numbers in terms of hectares burned for May and June.
“It’s definitely going to be an interesting season for the Kamloops Fire Centre,” said Fire Information Officer Kelsey Winters. “Typically we say we depend on the June rains and we haven’t seen those rains so far this year. We’re going to depend on the public to be very careful with their outdoor fire use and make sure our crews are ready for it.”
People should remember to wear proper sun protection and sunscreen, stay hydrated and keep cool. The BC Government has provided a number of tips on health-related illnesses and how you can stay healthy.
Metro Vancouver also has a TapMap App to show you where you can fill your water bottle for free at the public fountains.
Police and the BC SPCA are also warning residents to not leave their pets in cars during this hot weather and to leave all animals at home.
RCMP say if people see a pet in a hot car there are a number of steps to take before calling the police or animal control:
If you observe an animal panting, shaking uncontrollably, acting lethargic and appearing to be uncoordinated, then this may be a critical situation requiring police or animal control. Police say if a vehicle needs to be broken into and animal control has been called, they will contact a local tow company to open a locked door. Police officers if warranted, can break a window and remove the animal, but this will always be a last resort and only done to save the life of the animal.
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