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120-year-old temperature record broken Thursday in B.C.

Weather records for June 8 in Princeton, B.C., go back 130 years to 1893. Before Thursday, the hottest of those 130 June 8s had come in 1903, when a high temperature of 33.9 C was recorded.

This week, the town surpassed 34 C on June 8 for the first time ever, recording a high of 34.4 C.

The Princeton record was the oldest of 20 broken in communities across B.C. on Thursday, according to preliminary data from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

It wasn't the hottest record, however. That title goes to Lytton, where temperatures hit a scorching 38.5 C on Thursday, breaking the old record of 36.7 C set back in 1948.

The 18 other high temperature records set Thursday were as follows:

  • Blue River area: New record of 35.4 C; old record of 30 C set in 1958
  • Cache Creek area: New record of 37.9 C; old record of 36.9 C set in 2015
  • Clearwater area: New record of 36.4 C; old record of 32.8 C set in 1969
  • Clinton area: New record of 30.5 C; old record of 26.9 C set in 2015
  • Golden area: New record of 35 C; old record of 34.4 C set in 1948
  • Kamloops area: New record of 35.7 C; old record of 35 C set in 1948
  • Kelowna area: New record of 35.1 C; old record of 34.9 C set in 2015
  • Lillooet area: New record of 36.4 C; old record of 36 C set in 2015
  • Mackenzie area: New record of 32.3 C; old record of 28.8 C set in 1987
  • Pemberton area: New record of 35.7 C; old record of 34.6 C set in 2015
  • Prince George area: New record of 32 C; old record of 30 C set in 1969
  • Puntzi Mountain area: New record of 31.4 C; old record of 30 C set in 1969
  • Quesnel area: New record of 34 C; old record of 32.2 C set in 1969
  • Revelstoke area: New record of 36.1 C; old record of 35 C set in 1948
  • Vernon area: New record of 35.5 C; old record of 34.2 C set in 2015
  • Whistler area: New record of 30.9 C; old record of 30 C set in 1969
  • Williams Lake area: New record of 30.7 C; old record of 28.9 C set in 1969
  • Yoho National Park area: New record of 30.3 C; old record of 27.8 C set in 1923

Environment Canada says the records it reports are derived "from a selection of historical stations in each geographic area that were active during the period of record."

The latest bout of heat comes amid an early and intense start to the wildfire season in B.C.

While temperatures in the Peace River region did not set records Thursday, sustained hot, dry weather has fed major fires in the area. That includes the West Kiskatinaw River wildfire, which caused an evacuation order for the entire District of Tumbler Ridge on Thursday. 

Rain is in the forecast for the hard-hit region on Saturday, but not before thunderstorms roll through, bringing the possibility of further fire ignitions from lightning strikes. 

Officials from the BC Wildfire Service said in their seasonal update on Thursday that the summer forecast looks set to be a challenging one. 

Already this year, the province has seen more hectares burned than it did for the entire year in 16 of the last 20 wildfire seasons.

And hot, dry conditions across Canada mean fewer out-of-province resources are projected to be available to help fight fires in B.C.

"Nationally, we tend to leverage resource-sharing agreements with our partner agencies," said Neal McLoughlin, superintendent of predictive services for the BC Wildfire Service, at a news conference Thursday.

"All agencies across Canada are busy this year, and there is a real shortage of resources for sharing. This could be a year where we have to really dig deep and use the resources we have here in B.C. to address our situation."

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories


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