Daily heat records fall again in BC as drought worsens

Unusual heat over much of British Columbia shows no sign of abating, with another record day on record with many regions reporting no significant rain since early July.

Environment Canada says 11 daily maximum temperature records were set on Wednesday in parts of Vancouver Island, the Central Coast, the southern interior and southeastern BC

At 26.9°C, the Pemberton area broke a record that has stood since 1908.

Port Alberni and Vernon, with nearly identical temperatures just above 25°C, surpassed records that have stood for 122 years.

Normal temperatures for early October usually range from 14 C to 16 C in those cities.

The Department of Forests has ranked Vancouver Island, the inner south coast and northeastern BC at the second most severe level of drought on a five-point scale.

The Sunshine Coast Regional District has also opened an emergency operations center as it faces severe drought in a key water system.

The district uses a siphon system to draw additional water from Lake Chapman to feed the critically low Chapman water system, which provides drinking water to about 90 percent of the residents of the lower Sunshine Coast.

“The last day of significant rainfall on the Sunshine Coast was more than 80 days ago, on July 6, and Environment Canada has informed us that we should not expect any significant rainfall for the next two weeks,” said Dean McKinley, district chief. . in a statement posted last week.

The district was due to install new siphons this week at Edwards Lake, the district’s secondary reservoir, McKinley said.

The Sunshine Coast Regional District has imposed the strictest water restrictions and is supporting them with increased enforcement and $500 fines on anyone using drinking water for outdoor use.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District announced Thursday that rules on watering lawns in Phase 1 have been extended until Oct. 31 due to weather — meaning residents and businesses are only allowed to water lawns one morning per week, with designated days determined by the address and type of accommodation.

A map showing most of BC with extreme or high fire risk.
By October, fire risk was heightened throughout BC as the warm, dry summer conditions continued into the early fall days. (CBC news)

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