Scorching temperatures are moving in for many parts of B.C. over the next few days as residents brace for a third heat wave this summer.
Heat warnings have now been issued for Metro Vancouver, the Southern Gulf Islands, Howe Sound, Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Greater Victoria and inland and east Vancouver Island.
Temperatures ranging from 34 C to 38 C, combined with overnight lows near 17 C to 20 C, are expected for the next four days.
However, humidex values during this period will reach the high 30s to possibly the low 40s.
Little relief is expected during the overnight hours.
Emergency Management BC has been working with communities around the province to make sure they have the resources and information they need, B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said Wednesday.
Cooling centres will be open for residents around the province and a list of cooling centres is available on Emergency Management BC.
The BC Coroners Service recently reported that 70 per cent of sudden and unexpected deaths during the June 25-July 1 heat wave were tied to extreme temperatures.
A preliminary review found that 570 of the deaths were heat-related, the service said.
On Wednesday, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province’s Emergency Health Services is ready for the increase in call volume and is fully staffed.
All health services and health authorities are fully prepared, Dix said, adding they are also staffing up emergency rooms and acute care centres.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said in late June and early July, the heat wave was a “unique event.”
“It is something we have never seen in British Columbia before,” she said, adding that now residents have been through those heat waves there’s a better understanding of how heat can be so destructive for so many people.
Henry added that it’s important to keep track of the indoor temperatures as well, not just the outdoor temperatures as sustained indoor temperatures can be just as damaging.