Cities prepare for extreme heat in Ridge Meadows

The weather forecast from Monday, July 25 to Sunday, July 31 is going to be hot with temperatures reaching a high of 36 C resulting in a heat wave.

With the current heatwave warning in effect, we reached out to the city of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to find out their action plan for an extreme heat weather event. 

Maple Ridge heatwave plan

Here’s a list of Maple Ridge spray parks and facilities you can access: 

  • Albion Sports Complex
  • Maple Ridge Park
  • Country Lane Estates North
  • Country Lakes Estates South
  • Cedar Park
  • Deer Fern Park
  • Blaney Hamlet Park
  • Firefighters Park

Parks including Kanaka Creek Regional Park, Golden Ears Provincial Park and Cliff Park have waterfalls and creeks to cool down. 

Read: Ridge Meadows opens cooling centres for residents

Ridge Meadows Seniors Society is inviting seniors to spend the hot days at the RMSS Activity Centre in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Maple Ridge Library and Greg Moore Youth Centre are also open for the community to find a reprieve. 

The city is also advising people to plan ahead for the heat and have a go-to kit ready for extreme heat, too, as the province is not as prepared as it should be for extreme weather.

“It is critical that people take the time to think about how they will deal with their personal circumstances during a heat event. We often think of being prepared for an emergency as having a grab-and-go kit for a fire or earthquake however, as we have seen, it is important to assess your family’s risk for all emergencies, including an extreme heat event. Here in BC, we are less prepared than we should be for extreme weather, either high heat or very cold weather,” said Fred Armstrong, communication co-ordinator for Maple Ridge. 

The city has devised an emergency preparedness plan with more information. 

Pitt Meadows heatwave plan 

Pitt Meadows is prepared to set up cooling centres in case of an extreme heat event, said Carolyn Baldridge, communications manager and Barb Morgan, emergency manager in a joint statement. The city regularly posts information on their website and social media.

Along with a heat preparedness guide, here are community spaces you can visit to cool off:

Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre lobby has seating as well as the gym will be open as a cooling centre in case of an extreme weather event. Hours may be extended if a heat warning is in effect. 

  • Pitt Meadows Public Library
  • Pitt Meadows Arena 
  • Pitt Meadows Seniors Centre 
  • Harris Road Spray Park

“The city is reminding residents to share the options of how and where to find respite from the heat with neighbours who may not have access to social media. Check on older family members, never leave children or pets inside a parked vehicle and watch for signs of overheating,” the statement added. 

How is a heatwave declared?

In an extreme heat event, a criterion has been set by Fraser Health Authority to declare an extreme heat emergency in the South West.

When temperatures reach over 29 degrees, indicating a daily high that will increase over day or for three more days, a heat emergency is declared. 

For Maple Ridge, the Provincial Alerting Heat Response System (BC-HARS) is used. 

A heat emergency is declared for the southwest inland when two or more consecutive days of daytime maximum temperatures are expected to reach 33C and nighttime minimum temperatures are expected to stay at 17C or warmer. 

In summer 2021, record-shattering high temperatures were noted in BC, with Lytton reaching 46.6 C, highest ever in Canada and Lower Mainland reaching temperatures up to 45 C.

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