Warnings of heat exhaustion, increased fire danger and the risk of running out of water were some of the messages shared by local governments and agencies across the Nechako Valley as a dangerous long-duration heat wave gripped much of B.C.
Up until Wednesday, June 30, daytime highs could range from 35 to 40°C in Vanderhoof and surrounding areas.
“These temperatures are unprecedented,” the Village of Fraser Lake wrote in a Facebook post shared Monday, June 28.
“This past weekend, we saw water consumption of over 1.1 million liters of water per day. Our water system cannot keep up and our community is in peril of running out of water.”
Dozens of temperature records were broken in B.C. where the humidex made it feel like nearly 50°C in some communities.
The Village of Fraser Lake said their bylaw officer would be on the lookout for homes not abiding by their sprinkling bylaw, which sets specific days and times for homes to run their water sprinklers.
Northern Health meanwhile issued a bulletin advising everyone to be aware of the risks of too much heat or sun exposure that can lead to weakness, disorientation, and exhaustion, and in severe cases, a life-threatening medical emergency known as heat stroke.
The fire danger also rose to high or extreme, meaning new fires will start easily, spread rapidly and challenge fire suppression efforts, noted BC Wildfire Service.
While the extreme heat resulted in some schools closing early, meaning a one-and-a-half-day early start to the summer break, School District 91 said their busses would be operating as usual on June 28 and June 29.
“Although all of our schools have a variety of year-end, fun activities planned, given the current weather and associated heat warning, parents should make the best decision for their family and children,” SD91 said on its Facebook page.