Temperatures in Burnaby could heat up to the mid-30s next week
At the moment, there's no official warning in effect—but the provincial government is telling British Columbians to prepare for the heat.
Update: The City of Burnaby has officially opened its four cooling centres as of Monday, July 25. They will be operating from 10am to 10pm daily until extreme heat has ended. More information on where the cooling centres are located as follows.
With temperatures expected to rise this week, the provincial government is asking British Columbians to be prepared for extreme temperatures and to check in on more vulnerable friends, family, and neighbours.
Weekend temperatures are expected to remain in the high 20s in the Lower Mainland, but Environment Canada says inland temperatures could reach the low to mid-30s starting Monday and lasting until at least the middle of the week.
The public weather agency issues a heat warning when temperatures at Vancouver International Airport are expected to exceed 29 C for two or more consecutive days, with nighttime lows remaining above 16 C.
At the moment, that threshold has not been met, so there are no official heat warnings or special weather statements in effect.
An official heat warning is also the trigger for the City of Burnaby to open its cooling centres, and the Beacon has reached out to the city to inquire about any plans to do so.
If cooling centres are opened, they can be found at the following locations from 10am-10pm:
- Cameron Community Centre (9523 Cameron St.)
- Eileen Dailly Leisure Pool & Fitness Centre (240 Willingdon Ave.)
- Bonsor Recreation Complex (6550 Bonsor Ave.)
- Edmonds Community Centre (7433 Edmonds St.)
Cooling centres all have air conditioning, seating, drinking water, washrooms, and free WiFi.
The Burnaby Society to End Homelessness, meanwhile, operates outdoor pop-up cooling centres in the following locations:
- Civic Square (Central Boulevard and McKay Avenue, outside Bob Prittie Metrotown Library)
- Kensington Park (Corner of Frances Street and Fell Avenue)
Washrooms, drinking water, seating, and WiFi can be found at outdoor pop-ups.
Last week, the society said it was seeking volunteers to help operate those outdoor pop-ups in anticipation of the rising temperatures. If you are interested in helping out, you can email email@example.com to volunteer.
🔥🌞Heat Warning! Environment Canada anticipates heat in excess of 29C for Wed Jul 20 to Tue, Jul 26. We are seeking volunteers to help out at our Civic Square and Kensington Locations. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested! #volunteerburnaby pic.twitter.com/EqHK06cwZ7
— The Society to End Homelessness in Burnaby (@BurnabyHomeless) July 19, 2022
Other outdoor spaces in Burnaby can also provide respite from extreme heat, including shaded areas, outdoor pools, and spray pads. The City of Burnaby has compiled a list of cooling resources into an interactive map.
While the city said earlier this summer that it was working on a plan to transport people with mobility issues to cooling centres if needed, there have been no further public developments on the details of that plan.
If you are unable to leave your home, it’s important to keep hydrated—drink water consistently through the day, even if you’re not thirsty. Keep blinds and curtains shut to keep rooms as cool as possible, and take showers to cool down if needed.
You can also create a makeshift air conditioner by setting up a bowl of ice water in front of a fan.
The province, meanwhile, is cautioning British Columbians to be aware of the signs of heat illness and heat stroke, and to check in on friends, families and neighbours who may be more susceptible to extreme heat. People more at risk include the elderly, the very young, people who work outside, unhoused people, and people who use drugs, among others.
However, advocates and some members of the community say the provincial government needs to take a more active role in keeping people safe during heat waves and heat domes, like the one last summer that killed 619 British Columbians—including 73 in Burnaby.
Gabrielle Peters, a disabled writer and policy analyst who participated in a portion of a BC Coroners Service heat dome death review panel earlier this year, criticized the final report for not recommending the province provide air conditioners or hotel rooms to high risk people this summer—including disabled people and low-income individuals.
The panel only recommended that the province conduct a review of that possibility by December.
“There are no recommendations that create new options for people to escape the heat in 2022 that did not exist in 2021, the year that 619 people died in one week as a result of the heat,” Peters said.