Temperatures soared to unprecedented levels across Metro Vancouver in late June as a “heat dome” formed over the province. The record-breaking temperatures caused hardships for residents across the region, and contributed to dangerously dry conditions and poor air quality.
The extreme heat led to Metro Vancouver issuing a ground-level ozone air quality advisory on June 26, and adding a fine particulate matter advisory on June 29. During this period, some of the peak ozone concentrations measured were the highest since the 1980s. Although both advisories were lifted on June 30, staff have continued to monitor regional air quality diligently as hundreds of wildfires burn across the province.
After days of intense heat, a fire was reported on the steep slopes of Wreck Beach at Pacific Spirit Regional Park on June 29. The Vancouver Fire Department commanded the scene, while B.C. Wildfire Service, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks staff and Metro Vancouver Regional Watershed Protection wildfire crews assisted. The fire covered approximately 150 square metres and discarded smoking material likely sparked the blaze.
On July 7, another brush fire was reported adjacent to Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Metro Vancouver staff were dispatched to watch for potential hotspots within the park and assist the Vancouver Fire Department. The blaze did not spread to the park.
The fire danger rating level at regional parks and green spaces was moved to extreme on July 26. Visitors are reminded that smoking is not allowed in regional parks, campfires and the use of briquette barbecues are banned and propane cooking stoves/barbecues are allowed only in approved facilities under direct supervision.