People cool down under a tree in the Old Port of Montreal, Saturday, June 20, 2020, as the port launches its 2020 summer season and a heat wave hits the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Warm temperatures soar as heat wave blankets the Kootenays

Temperatures expected to reach up to 40 degrees C heading into next weeek

Much of the province is under a heat wave warning as temperatures in some interior communities are expected to reach scorching levels in the coming days.

In the Kootenays, Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in mid-30s over the weekend, but climbing to 40 degrees by the middle of next week.

“An exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure will develop over British Columbia likely resulting in record breaking temperatures,” reads a public alert issued by Environment Canada. “The duration of this heat wave is concerning as there is little relief at night with elevated overnight temperatures.

“This record-breaking heat event will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses and increase the risk of wildfires due to drought conditions.”

In recent days, the heat wave has already broken temperature records in a few communities across the province.

The B.C. Wildfire Service is urging caution heading into the weekend, and larger Category 2 and Category 3 fires are banned across the province as of Friday, June 25th.

Smaller campfires remain permitted, however, the BC Wildfire Service says warm and dry conditions are expected to continue over the next few weeks and that officials are constantly monitoring conditions and assessing needs for further restrictions.

Interior Health says too much heat can be harmful to health, leading to weakness, disorientation, exhaustion and sun stroke, which can be life-threatening in severe cases.

Interior Health advises that people plan outdoor activities in the morning or the evening to avoid the most intense heat of the day, stay hydrated, wear a hat and apply sunscreen.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.