Blistering summer heat has been hanging around the Elk Valley, and there are a few public places people can go to cool down (when they’re open).
Temperatures in Fernie on Friday (July 29) have been hovering around 30 degrees, with similar forecasts for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, according to The Weather Network. The heat is expected to begin to taper off on Tuesday.
There was also a severe thunderstorm watch issued on Friday that includes the East Kootenay and Elk Valley regions.
The Fernie Heritage Library has been offering a cool down space since Wednesday (July 27), which runs until Friday at 5 p.m.
The library will be undergoing its annual August closure and will re-open on Aug. 9, at which point it will be available again for cooling down on hot days, according to senior library assistant Jessica Bozoky.
She said people have been using the space to cool down.
“A lot of people coming and playing table top games, or card games, some people coming to do Zoom interviews in the corner to use the wifi, or just sitting upstairs reading magazines and books,” she said.
“Just cooling off in the heat. It’s very hot.”
The Senior Citizens Drop-In Centre in Fernie will also be available for cooling down, but is rented out until Tuesday (Aug. 2), according to Courtney Baker, coordinator with the centre. Their hours are changeable, so anyone looking to cool down there on a hot day from Tuesday on will have to check their open hours.
The Sparwood Public Library is not officially a cool-down space, according to children’s librarian Joanne Plesman, but people are more than welcome to use the space to cool down, she said. They have air conditioning and a water cooler for cold drinks.
The Sparwood library’s open hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on week days (they’re closed Monday), and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. They will be closed for the long weekend but open again on Tuesday.
Similar to Sparwood, the Elkford Public Library is not an official cool-down space, but they encourage people to come down and enjoy their air conditioning when they’re open, according to Jeanette Fairbairn, librarian and clerk. They also have water and can provide cups.
They are not closing for the long weekend, but are always closed on Sunday and Monday.
Their regular open hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.