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Oak Bay plans to keep residents cool when extreme heat hits – Saanich News

Oak Bay plans to keep residents cool when extreme heat hits – Saanich News

Planning for future extreme heat emergencies includes short-term planning and long-term preparation in Oak Bay. Fire Chief Frank Macdonald outlined the district’s approach to council during its July 11 meeting.

More than 700 people in B.C. died last year due to extreme heat events, according to the provincial health authority, with 21 of them on southern Vancouver Island.

In response to those events, Oak Bay Emergency Services staff has been preparing for extreme summer heat events, working to reduce risks to the health and safety of residents.

Over the one-week heat wave, temperatures rose to a peak of over 40 C in many parts of the province. But different regions were impacted disproportionately, Macdonald told council. Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) in the Capital Region didn’t report the impact other areas saw. For example, Oak Bay Fire Department was not overwhelmed by medical calls to help BCEHS like their counterparts in Vancouver. There the fire department was, at one point, fully tied up in medical calls amid significant ambulance delays, leaving no resources available for fire response.

While the impacts were less severe, Macdonald noted weather scientists predict hotter summers and extreme heat events should be expected.

Heat events are classified as top-down events, meaning local emergency programs follow the lead of the province. Under the BC Heat Alert and Response System launched in June, a dedicated provincial heat committee will issue either warnings or emergency alerts, depending on different temperature thresholds. If a region is expected to see two or more consecutive days with daytime highs and nighttime lows above what is considered normal, a warning will be issued. If temperatures are expected to continue to increase day over day for three or more days, an extreme heat emergency will be declared and Alert Ready may be used. That emergency alert system should be familiar to residents as Amber Alerts and tsunami warnings on television, radio and cellphones.

Local protocols created by the Oak Bay Emergency Program include education, partnerships, communication, block watch, the Greater Victoria Public Library, Oak Bay Volunteers Services and other local governments. The partnerships focus on education, checking in on vulnerable residents during an event, and providing a place to cool for those who need.

In the event of an extreme heat event the air-conditioned common areas of Oak Bay Recreation Centre, Monterey centre and the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, serve as unmanned cooling centres. Neighbouring municipalities confirm their cooling centres will be open to Oak Bay residents living in the area.

OBEP plans to share information through a new preparedness guide, presentations at Monterey centre, displays during the monthly night market and both traditional and social media.

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First annual off-road motorcycle event coming to Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo

First annual off-road motorcycle event coming to Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo

Richardson Backcountry in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo
“Photo provided by Ride North Moto”

Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic Development & Tourism (FMWBEDT) has teamed up with Ride North Moto, to deliver their first-ever off-road motorcycle event to the area.

Together, they’re launching “Boreal Royale”, a dual-sport motorcycle adventure taking place June 24-26.

Tyler Cole, Sports & Events Economic Development Officer with FMWBEDT describes it as not being a race, but more of an opportunity to responsibly welcome the motorcycle community to the beautiful backcountry areas of Wood Buffalo.

The event includes four nights of camping at the motocross track and three days of competition that will see competitors use the WANDURO app to find waypoints and collect Quest Points.

The press release describes the event as being similar to geocaching, which is where individuals hunt for hidden objects by using GPS coordinates, but with motorcycles.

“We are working towards this event becoming a staple in the dual-sport and adventure sport motorcycling event calendar going forward,” explained Cole.

McMurray Dirt Riders Association and the WANDURO Adventure Moto Navigation events team from British Columbia will also be hosting Boreal Royale in partnership with the event.

Mike Haberoth, Founder of Ride North Moto says, “We are very excited to see the 1st Annual Boreal Royale come together and to share our passion for motorcycle sport with others in the community. Our local partners have been the key to helping us explore the region’s backcountry and inspiring us all to be proud of the place we call home.”

FMWBEDT stated in a press release that the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has given permission to the group to allow competitors on their traditional territory in the Richardson backcountry north of Fort McMurray.

An introductory video for the event can be viewed at Boreal Royale – Teaser Video – YouTube.

For more information, you can visit

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Events delayed as heavy snow hits Yanqing and Zhangjiakou

Volunteers clear the course as the start of the women's slopestyle qualification has been delayed due to weather on February 13.
A worker spraying disinfectant at the Secret Garden Genting Grand, at the Beijing Olympics.
A worker spraying disinfectant at the Secret Garden Genting Grand, at the Beijing Olympics. (Dan Hodge/CNN)

The corridors of the Secret Garden Genting Grand in Zhangjiakui seem like any other hotel in a ski resort — but of course, the resort hosting the Beijing 2022 mountain sports is not just any other hotel.

Being within the “closed loop” that separates Olympic athletes and participants from the Chinese public means there are a few quirks to contend with. 

You’re joined in the corridors by dozens of hazmat-suited staff, one of whom is spraying a “disinfectant solution” that smells a lot like bleach from a hose attached to his Ghostbuster-style backpack. They pass through with their sprays at least three times a day, covering mainly the carpet in their mist.  

Relentless disinfectant seems to be a theme across the Games, with white spray marks adorning everything from the airport information booths on arrival, the PVC screen separating us from our closed loop drivers, to stains on black shoes from a freshly sprayed carpet. 

iFLYTEK Jarvisen, an AI smart translator developed in China used by staff and restaurant servers at the Beijing Olympics.
iFLYTEK Jarvisen, an AI smart translator developed in China used by staff and restaurant servers at the Beijing Olympics. (Dan Hodge/CNN)

Breaking the language barrier for lunch: In the mountain resort of Zhangjiakou, the hotels have restaurants ranging from Chinese food and Western-style diners to chain brands like KFC and Pizza Hut.

But one thing they all have in common is the language barrier between the primarily English-speaking clientele and our Mandarin-speaking hosts. In an (almost) Google-less China, there might be an app for that, but some of these restaurants are opting to use other hardware.

The tech that at first glance resembles a cellphone from the early 2000s is in fact the iFLYTEK Jarvisen – an AI smart translator developed in China. Our experience with the tech has been a pleasant one, certainly making mealtimes less stressful.