Here's what you need to know about the heat hitting Montreal

·3 min read
Here's what you need to know about the heat hitting Montreal

As temperatures climbed to the 20s early this week — giving sun-starved Montrealers their first taste of summer — even hotter days are upon us, and there are some new outdoor restrictions to keep in mind.

The hot spell settled into the city on Thursday, with a daytime high of 30 C, and is expected to last until Saturday night. During the day, Saturday will see temperatures up to 31 C, with showers expected at night to provide some reprieve.

Not even halfway through May, the impact of the hot weather is already being felt across the province, as Quebec has been deprived of precipitation for several days now.

In response to the extreme heat, the city of Montreal said some boroughs have turned on their splash pads to help keep people cool, including Ville-Marie, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension, LaSalle, Outremont, the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie and the Sud-Ouest.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press
Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Mayor Valérie Plante made the announcement on Twitter earlier this week, advising people to check with their boroughs before arriving to see whether they're open.

Although the forecast doesn't reach the criteria of a heat wave in Montreal, the city said it is monitoring the situation and will be ready to activate its heat wave plan if necessary.

As the temperature soars and you prepare for some fun in the sun, here's what you should bear in mind:

Ban on open fires

A ban on open-air fires in or near forested areas is in effect in a dozen regions across Quebec, including Montreal, Laval and the Montérégie.

SOPFEU, Quebec's forest fire prevention agency, is asking Quebecers to avoid making campfires or using any objects that could create sparks, like fireworks.

"Right now, the fire danger is extreme across the province because of the dry spell," said Mélanie Morin, a prevention and communications agent with SOPFEU.

Morin said during this time of year, dead leaves, grass and branches on the ground dry out quickly and become highly flammable.

Courtesy of SOPFEU
Courtesy of SOPFEU

This, combined with Quebec's lack of precipitation this past week, low relative humidity, warm temperatures and windy days, create very dangerous conditions, she said.

Since the ban was imposed, Morin said the province has had 99 new wildfires, 100 per cent of them caused by humans and the majority by people setting up campfires or burning brush.

"The danger's there. Right now, things are so dry that it only takes one spark, so we ask that people follow the fire ban," Morin said.

The Montreal fire department has also been reminding people to be careful when using their barbecues this time of year, saying two fires in the city were caused by home barbecues out on balconies this week.

New regulations on use of water

Year after year, many municipalities in Quebec issue complete or partial outdoor watering bans to protect their resources.

Saint-Lazare, west of Montreal, is the latest to impose new rules, which are already in force. The complete filling of pools can no longer be done using the city's water network and must now be done using a tanker truck, at the property owner's expense.

Charles Contant/Radio-Canada
Charles Contant/Radio-Canada

The authorization period for watering plants has also been reduced by one month and now extends from May 1 to Aug. 31. Watering is prohibited from Sept. 1 to April 30.

In March, Granby also changed its outdoor watering regulations to preserve water, banning it on Fridays except for vegetable gardens.

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