Province prepared as temperatures poised to surge in B.C., says emergency minister

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May 09, 2023 – Wolf Depner/Surrey Now-Leader

Temperatures aren’t expected to approach heat dome levels this week in B.C., but it is about to get hot, and the province says it is prepared.

Emergency Minister Bowinn Ma said the provincial government is ready to support communities and open cooling centres if needed as temperatures are expected to soar by the end of the week.

“At this time, Environment Canada is not anticipating (a) heat dome scenario, but elevated temperatures can still be a risk to human health,” Ma said Tuesday. Large parts of B.C.’s Interior are expected to see temperatures in the low-to-mid 30s, with parts of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island hot on their heels.

But Ma said the rising temperatures could impact the wildfire situation, as well flooding in the Interior.

“If there is a significant risk to human health (from heat), we do have the ability to issue broadcast intrusive alerts, but at this time, our concern about the elevated temperatures (is the) impact on snowmelt, because it could increase flooding risk and (the) impact on wildfire risk as well,” she said.

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