Canada has been dealing with an extreme heatwave for days. In the village of Lytton, where a top temperature of 49.5 degrees was measured on Tuesday, forest fires are now also raging. The residents are evacuated.
Lytton, a village of only 250 inhabitants about 260 kilometres north of Vancouver, has been in the news more often. Canada’s hottest temperatures on record were recorded in the village. Tuesday, it became 49.5 degrees there, and that is extremely unusual. Due to the extreme heat, forest fires are now raging in the region. Therefore, an evacuation order was issued for Lytton, the official government channel of the Canadian province of British Columbia, reported in a tweet.
In British Columbia, many deaths linked to the heat have already been counted this week. For example, there have been 486 deaths since Friday, and that number is 195 percent higher than normal. The most vulnerable are especially affected. The prime minister of the province, John Horgan, called on the population to seek out cool places. He says that the government is doing everything it can to look after the population.
Agriculture is also experiencing heat problems. The farmers will have to deal with burnt harvest, and the fruit will not get its normal colour. For example, a farmer told the BBC that his raspberries are white instead of red.
But why is it so hot in British Columbia right now? Normally, the province can enjoy a cool ocean breeze to soften the heat, but that breeze is interrupted by a heat dome. Clare Nullis of the World Meteorological Organization told “Terzake”. British Columbia lies between two low-pressure areas, which results in the heat concentrating in one area. “The extreme heat is more typical of summer in the Middle East,” says Nullis.
“The heat certainly has to do with the climate crisis,” says Nullis. And Prime Minister Horgan joins her. According to him, the heat makes it clear that the climate crisis is not fiction but reality. It should be cooler in the region in the following days. According to the weather reports, it will be about 36 degrees in Lytton.