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‘We learned a lot last year’: Public urged to be prepared for heat wave in Penticton

The city has seven publically accessible water stations and two dog park taps
Skaha Beach in Penticton. (John Arendt - Black Press)

With temperatures in Penticton expected to reach numbers in the mid to high 30s next week, the city is urging the public to have a heat plan before spending time outside.

While bylaw officers will have bottled water on hand for those who need a cool drink, there will also be a number of publicly accessible places for people to get some relief from the heat.

Seven water refill stations and a pair of dog-park taps round out Penticton’s cooling map.

Publically accessible water stations in Penticton. (Photo- City of Penticton)
Publically accessible water stations in Penticton. (Photo- City of Penticton)

“We learned a lot last year from the heat dome and though temperatures aren’t expected to reach those levels, it is best to be prepared,” said Penticton mayor John Vassilaki.

“Please drink plenty of water, wear a hat and use sunscreen, stay in the shade, go for a dip in our lakes and check in on your friends, family, seniors and neighbours. Together, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable summer.”

After Monday and Tuesday’s projected 32 C to 35 C wave, B.C-based meteorologist Derek Lee says people in the South Okanagan should expect temperatures to rise in a hurry afterward.

“At least right now, we do have a few spots that are forecasting for 37 C or 38 C in the area next week,” he told Black Press.

Though next week’s temperatures aren’t expected to shatter the area’s all-time heat records, people are reminded to check on their family and friends regularly throughout the week.

“Heat-induced illnesses can affect anyone, despite their age,” Lee said.

The province, meanwhile, has prepared a heat guide for all British Columbians in anticipation of next week, referencing last year’s event from June 25 to July 1 that saw the BC Coroners Service attribute 595 deaths.

Pet safety is also a focus, with the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) advising people to exercise with their dogs early in the morning or later in the evening to reduce the chances of heatstroke.

“Make sure they really are having a good time outside and are able to get out of the sun,” said Kim Monteith, manager of animal welfare.

The BC SPCA’s full guide for pet safety during extreme heat be found here.

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