BRITISH COLUMBIA

Heat Wave In B.C. Brings Wildfires, Air Quality Advisory

07/14/2014 03:10 EDT | Updated 07/14/2014 03:59 EDT
Darryl Dyck/CP

An air quality advisory has been issued for the Greater Vancouver regional district as a record-breaking heat wave continues across British Columbia.

Metro Vancouver is warning people high amounts of ground-level pollutants are expected to persist for days. The agency is asking people to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon.

Infants, the elderly and those with lung conditions or heart disease are especially vulnerable.

The advisory is expected to remain until the weather changes. Records were broken in four B.C. communities over the weekend, with a possibility of more to come.

Michel Gelinas, an Environment Canada meteorologist, says records were broken by about 1.3 C on average in Lytton, Pemberton, Lillooet and Kamloops. The average high temperature in each community was about 40.5 C.

euchiniko lakes wildfire The Euchiniko Lakes fire was first discovered last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, forestry officials are battling 63 wildfires across B.C., with 23 considered notable for their size, location or potential danger.

Nearly 70 people have been evacuated as an uncontained wildfire rages in the Cariboo region west of Quesnel but forestry officials say the Euchiniko Lakes blaze is not threatening any homes.

They say the lightning-caused fire grew significantly Sunday night and has scorched 20-square-kilometres of woodland 120 kilometres west of Quesnel since it was discovered last Tuesday.

The eight-day-old Red Deer Creek fire, 61 kilometres southeast of Tumbler Ridge, B.C., is now estimated to cover 38-square-kilometres and is uncontained, keeping three evacuated oil-and-gas camps shutdown.

Hot, dry, windy weather is complicating firefighting efforts and with lightning expected in many areas of the province, crews in all six B.C. fire centres remain on high alert.

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