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New Brunswick temperatures climb to unseasonable highs Tuesday


The long weekend may be over, but some Monctonians were celebrating for another reason Tuesday as temperatures hovered around 30 C with the humidex.

“This is my kind of weather, I love the heat,” said Lynda Davidge, who was out for a morning walk. “I try to walk during the coolest part of the day and that’s usually first thing in the morning. If it’s not too bad, if the temperature isn’t too, too high, then I’ll walk more than once a day, but I enjoy the walks, keeps me healthy.”

Barry Conard, who was out and about Tuesday morning, also welcomed the news.

“I think today’s weather is fantastic,” he said. “In the summertime I usually deal with the heat, I go down to my cottage and stay there until night time then I drive home.”

Much of New Brunswick saw unseasonably warm temperatures on Tuesday — in some cases several degrees above the averages for late May — and warmer conditions are expected to linger through the end of this week, according to CTV News Atlantic’s Chief Meteorologist Kalin Mitchell.

At the Moncton Fire Department, adjustments are being made to make sure everyone is ready and safe across the city.

“Every morning, we have a briefing with our crews so today we were talking about stay hydrated. Our body’s not used to this heat yet. In July it’s different, our body has acclimatized, but at this point I want to make sure that they’re hydrated before because when we do have a fire, it’s really hard to stop what we’re doing and to hydrate,” said Fire Chief Conrad Landry.

Moncton Fire Chief Conrad Landry loads water into a truck. (Alana Pickrell/CTV Atlantic)Coolers and drinks have been added to the trucks for both the firefighters and anyone who might need it on a call, including the city’s vulnerable population.

Landry says precautions are taken whenever there is a stretch of days above 25 C, including modification to training so the firefighters are still ready in case an emergency call comes in.

“The gear is very heavy, even the hoods that we put, you see people going skiing in the winter, they have balaclavas, it’s kind of the same thing, we have to put those hoods on top and it keeps all the heat,” he explained. “Every part of our body is covered, even our masks, so it’s very, very hot when we fight a fire period, but during the summer it’s even worse.”

Landry adds the hot weather does raise a few concerns when it comes to the day-to-day operations.

“We’re concerned of course because there hasn’t been any rain for a few days. There’s still all that winter kill that’s still there, so we’re very concerned about grass fires, forest fires,” he said.

“We didn’t have that big winter, the soil is already dry which is not normal for this time of year so I think we’re going to see a lot of grass fires. We’ve already had many, thankfully it hasn’t gone to a forest fire, so I think that’s going to increase. We’re ready for that. We’re trained for that. We have the equipment, but we need to be vigilant and we can’t do it ourselves. We need the community.”

People in Moncton, N.B., deal with hot weather. (Alana Pickrell/CTV Atlantic)Despite the drier conditions, provincial Wildfire Prevention Officer Roger Collet says overall New Brunswick has done fairly well this year when it comes to wildfires.

“We have had about 168 fires in the province so far, totalling about 170 hectares, so a lot of those were old grass fields that may have ignited from somebody maybe burning a little bit of brush and it got away on them, so the areas kind of add up that way, but a lot of them were very small,” said Collet.

Right now, he says areas of concern include the central part of the province, included wooded areas, and heading a little bit towards the north east.

However, he notes the province is entering the “green-up” of the season, where green grass, leaves and even humidity impact fires.

“Right now we’re still basically at an average year. We might have a few more fires than normal at this time, but they tend to start to balance out eventually as the summer goes on, so our average is somewhere around 250-260 fires a year,” said Collet.

Right now the province updates its fire map daily, which tells New Brunswickers three things: if it’s safe to burn, if there are restricted burn hours in place or if there is no burning allowed at all.

Collet says people still need to be cautious.

“We ask that you check our burn-line and make sure burning is okay that day. If burning is okay, we still ask that you attend your fire at all times. When you’re finished with it make sure that it’s completely extinguished. If you can’t touch it, it’s not completely out.”

Director Jill Marvin says both the animals and the workers at Moncton’s Magnetic Hill Zoo are in good hands and the habitats include shade, shelter and water year-round.

“During hot weather, keepers may offer additional water, frozen treats or fruits with high water content. It is important for us to provide the same to our dedicated team that are outdoors caring for our animals as well,” Marvin said in an email. “Many think that a mammal’s fur coat will automatically make them hotter but in fact, it acts as an insulator keeping their body temperature constant.”

She adds species do struggle to keep up with climate change and the Zoo encourages people to consider their carbon footprint and how they can reduce their impact on warmer days.

As for pools and splashpads in the City of Moncton, communications director Isabelle LeBlanc confirmed the goal is to have everything open by June 22.

She said the outdoor pools don’t normally open until schools are closed and both students and lifeguards are available. As for the splashpads, she said they try to open the regional ones early next month.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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