Double whammy warnings again
Environment Canada this morning issued a heat warning and special air quality statement covering the East Kootenay.
A heat warning is in effect for the Columbia Valley, Kimberley and Cranbrook areas.
And a special air quality statement is in effect for Cranbrook, Kimberley, Elk Valley and Kootenay National Park areas.
Temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius combined with overnight lows near 18 degrees Celsius are expected for the next two days.
“A strengthening ridge of high pressure will lead to rising temperatures across interior B.C. Daytime highs near 35 degrees Celsius combined with overnight lows near 18 degrees are forecast for today and Saturday,” Environment Canada stated.
Relatively cooler temperatures are expected Sunday into Monday.
Additionally, many regions of B.C. are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24-48 hours.
Extreme heat affects everyone.
The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.
Watch for the effects of heat illness: swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of some health conditions.
Drink plenty of water even before you feel thirsty and stay in a cool place.
Check on older family, friends and neighbours. Make sure they are cool and drinking water
Reduce your heat risk. Schedule outdoor activities during the coolest parts of the day.
Seek a cool place such as a tree-shaded area, swimming pool, shower or bath, or air-conditioned spot like a public building.
Shade yourself with an umbrella or a wide-brimmed hat.
Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle.
Ask a health professional how medications or health conditions can affect your risk in the heat.
Watch for the symptoms of heat illness: dizziness/fainting; nausea/vomiting; rapid breathing and heartbeat; extreme thirst; decreased urination with unusually dark urine.
Keep your house cool. Block the sun by closing curtains or blinds.
Outdoor workers should take regularly scheduled breaks in a cool place.
Environment Canada and local Medical Health Officers expect an increase in health and safety risks from heat and are advising the public to take precautions.
“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” Environment Canada said.
If your home is not air-conditioned, be sure the house doesn’t get too warm when doors and windows are closed to keep out smoke. Exposure to too much heat can also result in illness.
If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.