Hot, dry weather prompts fire warnings

Temperatures will peak at 30 C Friday, cool off by Saturday night

Eight-year-old Bernard Brelsford reacts to a fall while skim boarding at Gonzales Beach. The temperature is expected to hit more than 30 C today

The heat has finally arrived in Greater Victoria, with temperatures expected to reach nearly 30 degrees on Friday and into the weekend.

While the all-time August record of 34.4 degrees is unlikely to be broken, Environment Canada officials said the hottest weather will occur before Saturday evening.

“There could be some daily records set, but by Saturday, we should start to feel a bit of cooling and definitely cooler on Sunday,” said meteorologist Trevor Smith.

Temperatures will hit 30 C today, 26 degrees on Saturday and 24 degrees on Sunday. Sunday may also bring thunder showers as weather systems collide, Smith said.

Marg Drysdale of the B.C. wildfire management branch, said lightning strikes have accounted for 46 of the 106 reported fires throughout the Island and Lower Mainland this season. The other 60 fires have been human-caused, something she hopes is minimized through public awareness this weekend.

“It’s extremely dry and extremely hot in the next two to three days,” she said. “Because of the cool weather up until now, we’ve been seeing mostly spot-fires,” she said.

While the province won’t be issuing a campfire ban, the fire danger rating is currently extreme for the South Island.

“In those conditions, our anticipation is that any spark can start a fire,” Drysdale said.

Seniors are considered some of the most at-risk members of the public during heat waves, and should exercise common sense when trying to beat the heat, said Sally Orr of assisted living residence Amica Douglas House.

“We always advise our residents to drink lots of water and suggest they eat lots of fruit and stay out of the sun,” she said.