The soaring temperatures have prompted the city of Lethbridge to activate extreme temperature response protocols as the Environment Agency of Canada puts much of southern Alberta on heat alert.
Daytime highs are expected to reach 30 degrees Celsius over the next week.
“It’s going to be a little warmer this weekend, but it’s going to start to cool again in the new week and Monday,” said Luke Palmer, the city’s emergency planning and risk supervisor.
“It’s ups and downs, but the most important thing is creating access to the community in terms of resources.”
Rising temperatures in southern Alberta prompt water replenishment to prepare for extreme heat
The city’s new drinking water stations are now operating at four locations around the city, and the spray park will be open from 9am to 9pm.
As temperatures rise, the Lethbridge Fire and EMTs are preparing for a surge in weather-related medical calls.
Deputy Fire Chief Kevin McCune said: “We expect ambulances to be even busier this weekend due to possible heat-related illnesses, and we have all of our crews trained and properly equipped to deal with that.”
Heat wave warning over Lethbridge calls for safety alerts from authorities
Meanwhile, the city banned all outdoor wood-burning bonfires in the river valley on Friday.
“The expected high temperatures this weekend, combined with low humidity and low winds, will increase the risk of fires,” McCune said.
Local groups are reviewing their activities in this heat.
“Our camp leaders are very committed to coordinating plans and creating alternative schedules,” said Paige Thornborough, Youth Initiatives Coordinator at the University of Lethbridge.
Some summer programs at the University of Lethbridge include an outdoor element.
Staff said additional hydration and breaks were provided to mitigate the effects of the weather, while schedules were adjusted to allow people to stay indoors during peak heat hours.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be an official heat warning for children to be significantly affected by high temperatures,” Thornborough said.
“We work with young campers, so we are very aware of the impact that extreme heat can have on them.”
City officials are urging people to protect themselves from the heat, so cooling centers have been set up for those venturing outdoors, including at Park Place Mall and downtown Park and Ride.
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