B.C.'s hot, hot heat set to peak Thursday, with Interior highs hitting 40 C

In the Interior, highs could hit 40 C or more, while in the Lower Mainland highs of 27-33 C are predicted to bake the region.

'Hottest day of the year' expected before cooldown Friday, says CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe

Many will enjoy the sun in B.C. as temperatures soar but Environment Canada is also advising caution for seniors, young children and people with medical conditions. (Michelle Ghoussoub/CBC)

Thursday could be the most thermometer-busting of all days in the ongoing B.C. heat wave.

In the Interior, highs could hit 40 C or more, while in the Lower Mainland highs of 27 to 33 C are predicted to bake the region.

"For some places in the Southern Interior, this may also be the hottest day of the year," said CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe. 

"A ridge of high pressure is pumping in the hottest of the air today straight in from the south ... in fact, much of the western U.S. is also experiencing record heat."

Wagstaffe said relief is on the horizon, however, as a cold front begins to track through the province Friday and Saturday, dropping the mercury by a few degrees.

"At this point, it doesn't look like it comes with a lot of rain for the South Coast but the weekend will be much cooler with a chance of showers and cloudier conditions," she said. "Isolated thunderstorms will be a concern for the Interior on Saturday."

Children in Downtown Vancouver's Coopers' Park take in the cooling spray from a fire truck's aerial ladder. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC News)

Instant water parks

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services helped people find reprieve from the heat on Thursday evening with several pop-up water parks throughout Vancouver. 

Firefighters used hoses to spray mists of water at selected areas, providing some temporary relief.

"We're doing it just to help them cope with the extreme heat, have some fun with the kids ... and get our crews out meeting the community. It's a win win," said assistant chief Dan Stroop.

The department said it came up with the idea after hearing that some of the city's water parks had long lineups due to the hot weather, and weren't able to accommodate all the people that were showing up. 

Families came out by the dozen to Coopers' Park for the first of many instant water parks planned this summer by the city's fire department. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC News)

"We understand this is an initiative that occurs in other municipalities in the Lower Mainland, and we thought to ourselves, you know it's something that we could afford to do while not overtaxing our resources," said assistant chief Dave Boone.

Boone says their instant water parks will continue every Thursday until the end of the summer, weather and water restrictions permitting.

Environment Canada has issued heat warnings and air quality advisories for much of B.C. Wildfires continue to burn across the province and the Lower Mainland is dealing with smog.

"The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors," Environment Canada warned.

"Drink plenty of water even before you feel thirsty and stay in a cool place."

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