A rainy interlude Monday gave the Shuswap a brief respite from record-breaking temperatures.
On Sunday, the temperature at the official Environment Canada weather station reached 37.3C, breaking the record of 35.6C set on the same day in 1937.
“We were just shy of the extreme (month of ) June record, which was 37.6 set on June 24, 1992,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Coldwells Monday, noting the Shuswap was also under a severe thunderstorm watch.
Coldwells said a clearing and drying trend was expected to start Canada Day, with temperatures in the low 30s, continuing throughout the weekend.
Kamloops Fire Centre fire information officer Kelsey Winter said Monday’s showers, which were expected to bring between three to five millimetres of rain, would help with fire suppression work. But, she cautioned, the next ridge of high pressure with its hot, dry conditions could spell the implementation of a campfire ban by Friday.
A total of 35 wildfires ignited over the weekend in the Kamloops Fire Centre, 22 of them caused by lightning and the remaining 13 were human caused and are under investigation.
A spot-sized fire was located Monday in the Salmon Arm Fire Zone – a remote blaze located off a Cambie Forest Service Road.
Since April 1, there have been 122 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre compared to 94 in the same time frame last year. The fires have destroyed 2,398 hectares since the new fire season officially began April 1, compared to 286 hectares burned between the same dates in 2014.
BC Hydro reports that sustained high temperatures have impacted demand for electricity, including a 15 per cent increase in peak demand Saturday compared to the previous weekend.
“The increases are more than the equivalent of running an additional generating unit at the Mica dam and generating station,” notes a June 29 BC Hydro release.
The utility suggests ways to keep cool: Shade windows and block up to 65 per cent of the heat; use a ceiling fan and make sure it is rotating counter-clockwise; keep the clothes dryer off; use the barbeque to cook outside and take shorter, cooler showers.