B.C. sees 37 one-day heat records tumble ahead of slightly cooler weather

A province-wide campfire ban will come into effect on Friday. As Monika Gul reports, the prohibition comes as B.C. braces for increased wildfire activity.

July 9, 2024, was a record day for 37 communities in B.C., as they saw their one-day heat record fall.

CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss says records around the province on Tuesday fell, not just in one region.

“It wasn’t just the South Coast, it was pretty much everywhere,” he said Wednesday.

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“All the way up to Fort Nelson, Fort St. John in the northeast getting new record highs. Creston, in the southeast, saw 36.9 degrees.”

Across the South Coast, temperatures were above 33 degrees for most regions, Kuss explains.

“Lytton, not only the nation’s hot spot, but also a record high of 42.5 degrees,” he said. “Pitt Meadows — this one is incredible — 34.2 degrees, the old record was 33.3 degrees from 1875.”

On Wednesday, some areas around the province will see the temperatures moderate slightly, Kuss explains.

“Today is a reasonable, I say this is almost air quotes, 30 degrees, 25 by the water. That’s down three or four degrees compared to what we experienced yesterday.”

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Heat Warning ended Wednesday morning, after first being put in place on Saturday.

But while the heat dissipates ever so slightly, Kuss says the wildfire risk has dramatically increased after a long, hot spell.

“We’ve seen high fire danger ratings across the north, but everywhere else has been in the low, very low range as recently as a week ago,” he said. “And now, most are high.”

“That includes the South Coast in the high range, parts of Vancouver Island are in an extreme fire danger rating, and there’s no precipitation in sight.

“And on top of that the risk of lightening across the southern parts of the Interior is going to go from no risk at all to relatively significant risk over the next week,” he added.

The change in weather comes as the BC Wildfire Service battles two new out-of-control fires in the northwest.

The Little Oliver Creek wildfire, discovered on Monday, is about 45 kilometres northeast of Terrace and “highly visible” from Highway 16, according to BCWS. The Hook Creek wildfire is near the B.C.-Yukon border and the Alaska Highway.

Listen to CityNews 1130 for weather updates every 10 minutes after traffic on the ones. You can also follow Meteorologist Michael Kuss on X and subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.

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