B.C. prepares for another, shorter heat wave

Adrian Dix, minister of health, speaks to the media about how the province prepared for a heat wave in August 2021. || B.C. government photo.
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B.C. is preparing for another heat wave, which is forecast to last until after Aug. 15, while many parts of the province will continue to experience poor air quality and risk of new wildfires.

“As we look toward another few days of extreme heat, we’re kicking our response into high gear again,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health. “We’re encouraging British Columbians to keep helping each other out like they have been and ensuring that emergency services will be there for anyone who needs them.”

Those who are unable to move to cooling centres (the elderly, people who live alone or have impaired mobility) are at greatest risk. The province is encouraging people to check with friends and family who may need assistance in managing the heat wave.

“Following all health guidelines during a period of rising temperatures is crucially important for vulnerable populations, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions, infants and young children,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We can be extra vigilant for those people who are most at risk by reaching out to remind them of the actions that will help us all get through another heat wave safely, such as limiting physical activity outdoors, taking shelter in a cool, air-conditioned place and staying hydrated.”

To stay safe through another heat wave, the province said people should continue to drink plenty of water, limit physical activity outdoors, stay indoors in an air-conditioned place and check in with loved ones, especially those most at risk. High indoor temperatures can be particularly dangerous for older adults and those with chronic health conditions, especially if they live alone. 

“The province is working closely with local governments and First Nations to provide support to people and communities in getting through this heat wave. We’re reminding people to follow local weather advisories, make a plan to check on friends and neighbours and get to know local resources, like the locations of nearby cooling stations where you can seek shelter from the heat if needed,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general

Elevated heat also increases the risk of wildfire and British Columbians are being urged to do their part to prevent human-caused wildfires and help keep communities safe. To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555, toll-free, or *5555  on a cellphone.

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