In Canada’s Northwest Territories, evacuations are underway. The army will help put out the fire. The fires are also consuming heatwaves in British Columbia. Restrictions on the use of water have been introduced there, the authorities are appealing not to water the lawns.
On Monday, the federal environment ministry issued a heat warning for 17 areas of British Columbia. The temperature is expected to approach 40 degrees Celsius. Chilling centers have opened in metropolitan Vancouver and cities in the Fraser Valley area.
The temperature exceeded 40 degrees
Lytton, in the south of the province, measured 41.4 degrees Celsius on Monday, which is the highest temperature recorded in Canada this year. In total, at least 16 heat records were broken on that day in the country, beating the results observed in 2004-2021. In Lytton alone, the previous warmest August 14 was in 2008, when temperatures peaked at 39.4 degrees Celsius.
However, the Ministry of Emergency Management reassures that a repeat of the 2021 heatwave, which claimed over 600 lives and contributed to the creation of extensive and destructive fires, is not expected. In Lytton, the heat record in Canada in the history of observation was broken, the temperature rose to 49.6 degrees Celsius. Soon after, the town was on fire.
However, residents have been urged to take basic protective measures, including staying hydrated frequently, limiting physical activity and staying outdoors. The storms are expected to last until Saturday.
Organizations dealing with assistance for the poor point out that the authorities should set the maximum temperature in homes in the summer. It is the poorest people, who rent the cheapest apartments, who are most at risk of heatwaves.
In British Columbia, where 377 forest fires were recorded on Monday, restrictions on the use of water were introduced. In the metropolis of Vancouver, the local government announced a photo contest of the “driest lawns” to raise awareness of the need to save water.
Fires and evacuations
The Northwest Territories are also battling expanding forest fires. On Monday, residents of Hay River and Fort Smith were evacuated by planes. The fire department on Monday night local time warned that there could be “extreme” fire behavior in the next 48 hours. Weather conditions are conducive to spreading the flames.
Public broadcaster CBC said one highway was closed completely and another partially closed on Monday. Last Friday, the federal government announced that the Northwest Territories would receive military assistance.
Main photo source: Reuters/Mary Jane Martin