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Firefighters called to ‘several’ cigarette-caused fires as Langley smashes temperature record

Monday saw temperatures reach a high of 42.9 C, Environment Canada reported
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Temperatures reached a new high in Langley on Monday smashing a previous June 28 record from 2008.

Environment Canada issued a heat wave warning on Friday that is expected to last until at least Wednesday.

READ MORE: Lytton, B.C., breaks all-time Canadian max temperature records yet again with 47.9 C

Temperatures throughout the province reached new highs, including Langley where at its peak saw the mercury reach 42.9 C on Monday.

The previous high recorded on June 28 in Langley was in 2008 when the temperature reached 32.4 C, according to Environment Canada. The lowest ever temperature recorded on that same date was in 1965 when it dipped to 4.4 C.

READ MORE: Extreme heat to abate somewhat across the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland

The average temperature high this time of year is 21.6 C, the weather agency reported.

To fight the current heat wave the local RCMP detachment is sending 0ff Langley Mounties with extra water, for themselves and for members of the community.

The detachment is reminding the public to take extra precautions, never leave children or pets in the vehicle.

READ MORE: Rash of sudden deaths among Langley seniors as temperatures hit records

Meanwhile, “it has been a very busy few days” for the Township of Langley Fire Department, assistant fire chief Andy Hewitson told the Langley Advance Times.

“With the heat, the crews have been running nonstop, call volumes have increased significantly, ” he said. “As you can imagine the added physical stress on the crews with the heat, makes the work very difficult.”

Firefighters have responded to several fires caused by discarded cigarettes, Hewitson said, where people are not considering the implications of littering a cigarette in the high heat and dry weather.

“Our firefighters have been pushing themselves to the limit and continue to perform at a high level despite the heat,” Hewitson said. “With the large fires on Friday and Saturday followed by the extreme heat Sunday and [Monday] crews have been very busy with both fires and medical calls.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Flames destroy under-construction condominium project in Langley

He reminds the public to use extra caution amid the heat wave.

“Stay cool and stay hydrated, and please be diligent with extinguishing smoking materials and when cooking outdoors,” Hewitson said.

Meanwhile, City of Langley fire chief Rory Thompson told the Langley Advance Times a busy day for the department is when they receive upwards of 20 calls in a day.

“On Monday we had 33 calls, 18 of those were medical calls,” he said. “All emergency services were taxed that day including BC Ambulance Service.”

“Apart from the cool areas in city hall available to the public, our crews have been handing out bottled water as required,” Thompson continued.

By mid-week the call volume had subsided.

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