Two cooling centres are being opened as Nelson endures a scorching heat wave.
The city announced Monday it would open the Nelson Curling Club’s lounge at 302 Cedar St. to the general public, as well as provide the Seniors Centre at 719 Vernon St. to seniors. Both facilities are open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Nelson fire chief Len MacCharles said he’s also been in conversation with the city’s social agencies about providing assistance to the street community.
The Nelson HUB in the former Nelson CARES office at 521 Vernon St. is air conditioned and open 1 to 5 p.m. throughout the week.
“Social agencies that are in town, ourselves and the health agencies are keeping an eye on (the homeless) and we’ll do our best to react to assist,” said MacCharles.
He also emphasized the need to look after seniors who may not have air conditioning.
“Vulnerable people, especially seniors, who are unlikely to call for assistance unless they really, really need it,” he said. “If you know there’s a senior next door, to knock on the door and ask how they are doing and check in on them on a daily basis.”
Environment Canada forecasts highs to hover around 40 C throughout the week.
Wildfire prevention and water conservation are also top of MacCharles’ mind.
With the exception of small blazes near Balfour, Crawford Bay and Trail there have yet to be any major wildfires, but MacCharles pointed to windstorms this year that have caused trees to be blown down and created ideal fuel for fires near the city.
“We need everyone to be very safe, especially in the backwoods outside of town, whether it’s with cigarettes or whether it’s with ATV’s, or whether it’s with any of the things that can cause a fire.”
A ban on fireworks is also active in the Southeast Fire Centre, which includes the entire Kootenays. Campfires that are half-metre high by a half-metre wide are still allowed.
Nelson is currently under stage two water restrictions, which ban any washing of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, exterior building surfaces and exterior windows.
Watering new sod or grass without a permit is also restricted, but lawns can be watered 4 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. at even addresses on Wednesdays and at odd addresses on Thursdays.
Sprinklers or irrigation systems can also be used to water trees, shrubs or vegetable and flower gardens during those hours on any day. Hand-held containers, hoses with a shut-off nozzles and drip-irrigation systems can also be used daily.
Hoses can also be used for washing personal vehicles, while the filling of fountains, pools, hot tubs (if that is somehow a draw right now) or garden ponds is also allowed.
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