Province issues heat warning as temperatures expected to soar

BC issues heat warning

After a brief reprieve from the smoking hot conditions across B.C., the heat is expected to return this weekend.

Temperatures are expected to rise back into the 30s this weekend across the Interior and in the Lower Mainland, prompting a warning from the B.C. government.

"While the warmer temperatures will be welcomed by many people who are looking to venture outdoors and explore our beautiful province, it does elevate some of our seasonal risks, such as floods, wildfires and heat," said Bowinn Ma, B.C.'s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.

"I urge people take full advantage of the beautiful weather ahead, but to stay informed about potential risks and take precautions to ensure your safety and well-being."

Much of the province is currently under a special weather statement for the upcoming hot temperatures.

Last week, a number of heat records were broken across the province, with temperatures in Kelowna reaching a high of 30.2 C on May 4 – the hottest the city has been so far this year.

This weekend, the mercury is forecast to once again break into the 30s across the Thompson-Okanagan, and the province says heat temperatures are likely to fall again.

The hot weather could exacerbate flooding issues in the province's Interior, as more snowmelt pours into local waterways. The Okanagan is currently under a “high-streamflow advisory,” while parts of the Salmon River are under the more severe “flood watch.” Cache Creek, which has dealt with serious flooding for weeks, remains under the most severe “flood warning.”

“The [River Forecast Centre] is forecasting increasing flooding hazards in the B.C. Interior over the weekend and through next week due to rapid snowmelt,” the province says in its release.

“Key areas of concern include the Fraser River from Prince George through the Fraser Canyon, Cariboo Mountains, North Thompson, South Thompson, Shuswap, Similkameen, Kootenay and Skeena regions.”

The hot weather may also increase the risk of wildfires in the Interior, although the fire season has been somewhat average so far.

“At this time of year, the main cause of wildfires is human activity,” said Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston. “The BC Wildfire Service encourages everyone to exercise caution when conducting any open burning or participating in activities that could cause a wildfire.”

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