A creek off the Mackenzie River east of Fort Simpson. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
A heat warning is in effect for much of the Northwest Territories’ Dehcho region this week.
Daily high temperatures near 29C are expected in Nahanni Butte, Fort Liard, Sambaa K’e, Fort Providence and Kakisa.
Temperatures are expected to start rising further on Friday or Saturday, with daytime highs reaching the low 30s and persisting into early next week.
While not in the record-breaking range yet, these highs are above average for the area, which usually reaches between 22-24C in early July.
Environment Canada warned residents to watch for symptoms of heat stroke, especially if working or exercising outdoors. Elders, young children and pregnant people are particularly vulnerable to heat.
The region around Fort Liard, which includes Sambaa K’e and Nahanni Butte, is already experiencing poor air quality due to wildfires. The stagnant air associated with heat waves leads to lower air quality on its own. When wildfire smoke warnings coincide with periods of extreme heat, the impact can be especially dangerous.
Across the Sahtu, temperatures are expected to reach highs of 28-30C later in the week.
In Norman Wells, the municipality said its town office had set up a cooling station where residents can access air conditioning and cool beverages between 9am and 5pm.