Dozens of deaths may be tied to historic Northwest heat wave
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The grim toll of the historic heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest became more apparent Wednesday as authorities in Canada, Washington state and Oregon said they were investigating dozens of deaths likely caused by temperatures that soared well above 100 degrees.
In Vancouver, British Columbia, police said they had responded to more than 65 sudden deaths since the heat wave began Friday. Authorities in Washington and Oregon were investigating about a dozen deaths.
"Vancouver has never experienced heat like this, and sadly dozens of people are dying because of it,” Vancouver police Sgt. Steve Addison said in a statement.
The heat wave was caused by what meteorologists described as a dome of high pressure over the Northwest and worsened by human-caused climate change, which is making such extreme weather events more likely and more intense. Seattle, Portland and many other cities shattered all-time heat records, with temperatures in some places reaching above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius).
Amid the dangerous heat and drought that are gripping the American West, crews were closely monitoring wildfires that can explode in the intense weather.
While the temperatures had cooled considerably in western Washington, Oregon and British Columbia by Wednesday, the interior regions were still sweating through triple-digit temperatures as the weather system moved east.
The government's Environment Canada agency issued heat warnings Wednesday for southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Heat warnings also were in place for parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
In Alberta, “a prolonged, dangerous, and historic heat wave will persist through this week,” Environment Canada said in a release.
The very high temperatures or humidity...