Extreme Heat Alert

LOWER MAINLAND, B.C. – Medical Health Officers from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Health (FH) are advising the public that as heat continues to build across the Lower Mainland, Environment Canada’s Heat Warning has now been escalated to an Extreme Heat Alert.

 

High temperatures forecast for tomorrow are anticipated to continue until Sunday, with daytime highs ranging from 32 to 35 degrees celsius combined with overnight lows of 17 to 19 degrees celsius. Humidex values during this period will reach the high 30’s.

 

The criteria for an Extreme Heat Alert have been met based on the temperature at YVR or Abbotsford as measured at 14:00 pm daily, averaged with the following day’s maximum temperature. High temperatures in this range are historically associated with an increase in deaths among Lower Mainland residents.

 

While everyone is at risk of heat related illness, hot temperatures can be especially dangerous for the young, the elderly, those working or exercising in the heat, persons with chronic heart and lung conditions, some people with mental health conditions, people living alone and people experiencing homelessness or inadequate housing. If you are taking medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it increases your health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations.

 

Medical Health Officers are again strongly advising Lower Mainland residents to take precautions to protect themselves and others. Combined with significant wildfire smoke rolling into the Lower Mainland for the next few days, it is critical to take extra steps as a priority to protect both yourself and those who are vulnerable in our communities.
 
While the Extreme Heat Alert is in place: 

Cooling centres will be open, and no one should be denied access to these centres because of concerns about crowding or physical distancing. 

If people are wearing a mask and have difficulty breathing, they should remove the mask, whether they are indoors or outside, as wearing a mask may impact thermal regulation during  heat events.

 

Based on previous heat events, the anticipated temperatures are proven to cause negative health outcomes among Lower Mainland residents who may not be acclimatized to temperatures in this range and may not have ready access to measures such as air conditioning. Heat stress can pose an immediate danger to health and may be fatal. Symptoms of severe heat-related illness can include dizziness, confusion, weakness and fainting or collapsing, including loss of consciousness.

 

View the full media release here.