Watch for these heat notifications issued in the Fraser Health region

The provincial government launched the BC Heat Alert and Response System (BC HARS) in June 2022. The goal of this two-tier alert system is to help ensure people, First Nations communities and local governments have the tools they need to stay safe during heat events.

BC HARS includes two categories of heat events: heat warnings and extreme heat emergencies. In the event of a heat warning or extreme heat emergency, the provincial government and local authorities will take appropriate actions based on their individual heat plans and processes.

B.C. Heat Alert Response System

For extreme heat emergencies, the Province is prepared to issue alerts through the national public alerting system, Alert Ready, which is already used to issue Amber alerts and tsunami, wildfire and flood warnings.

The criteria for the BC Heat Alert and Response System are as follows:

  • Heat warning

    Two or more consecutive days in which daytime maximum temperatures are expected to reach or exceed regional temperature thresholds and nighttime minimum temperatures are expected to be above regional temperature thresholds.

    A moderate increase in public health risk.

  • Extreme heat emergency

    Heat warning criteria have been met and daytime maximum temperatures are expected to substantively increase day over day for three or more consecutive days.

    A very high increase in public health risk.

    Temperature thresholds for the Fraser Health Authority region are as follows:

    • Southwest: daytime high of 29 C, nighttime low of 16 C
    • Fraser East: daytime high of 33 C, nighttime low of 17 C

    See the Environment and Climate Change Canada website for a description of the geographical regions.

    A heat warning would be called for the Fraser Health region if either the 29 degree threshold is met in Southwest B.C. (as measured at YVR Airport) or if the 33 degree threshold is met in Faster East (as measured at Abbotsford Airport).

Heat warnings are expected one to three times per summer.

Extreme heat emergencies are expected once or twice a decade.