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Heat warnings in B.C. as temperature records fall and wildfire fight continues

August 28, 2023 
By The Canadian Press


Aug. 28, 2023, British Columbia – Persistent heat is expected to continue today in parts of British Columbia as the province continues to battle almost 400 active wildfires.

Environment Canada says several communities in northern B.C. are facing heat warnings, with daily high temperatures predicted to reach in excess of 30 degrees.

Communities currently under a heat warning include Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge and Terrace.

According to Environment Canada data, Fort Nelson is expected to reach 32 C again today after breaking its historic high temperature for Aug. 27 at 32.4 C.

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Historic daily high temperature records were also broken Sunday at Fort St. John (28.8 C) and Terrace (30.2 C), with the heat expected to reach or exceed 30 degrees in those communities today.

Wildfire smoke has also led to large swaths of British Columbia being placed under air quality advisories, which cover Metro Vancouver, much of Vancouver Island and communities such as Whistler, Kamloops, Kelowna, Golden, Fernie, Quesnel, Prince George and Smithers.

Firefighters had said that they were anticipating potentially more challenging weather conditions this week after last week brought heavy rainfall to the Okanagan and Shuswap regions, helping crews turn the corner on a number of major blazes.

Residents of the Shuswap region who were forced from their homes by a destructive wildfire just over a week ago will soon learn the fate of their properties.

Derek Sutherland, director of the emergency operations centre for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, says staff would start reaching out to residents on Monday.

He told a briefing Sunday that the estimated number of properties destroyed by the Bush Creek East wildfire is unchanged at 131, with another 37 sustaining damage.

Sutherland said the regional district is planning to open a resiliency centre in Salmon Arm to support displaced residents “now and well into the future.”

As of Monday morning, the Bush Creek East blaze remained one of B.C.’s “wildfires of note,” which are considered highly visible or pose a threat to public safety.


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