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Calgarians seek to keep cool as hot, hot week settles in

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A heat wave has gripped southern Alberta, with temperatures expected to climb throughout the week.

The sudden surge in heat comes just as the city's outdoor pools have started reopening.

"This is like being on vacation," said Tarek Hageahmad, enjoying the water at the Millican-Ogden outdoor pool.

"It's exactly like being on vacation. It's such an amazing time with the family. It's local and the kids love it and it's an amazing family experience here."

"It's good to get out of the heat," said Calgarian Anna Furlong.

"There's not many other places to cool off around Calgary."

When it's hot in Calgary in July, it's always hotter at the Calgary Stampede.

Michigan tourist Winona Loewen was surprised by the hot weather.

"I was told to expect it to be cool and to pack layers," Loewen said.

Stampede organizers say there are measures in place to keep people cool.

The Stampede points to air-conditioned buildings, water-filling stations and misting stations throughout the park.

EMS spokesperson Naomi Nania says it's important to be prepared for the heat.

"Take those little breaks as much as possible," Nania said.

"That's what we would advise so that we don't see those heat exhaustion cases, which can eventually lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal."

The heatwave's origin is traced back to California, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

"While the core or the epicentre of the heat is located further south over northern California, it is expanding north and east this week," said meteorologist Jennifer Smith.

"With the current heat event, several daily records may be broken across the region throughout the event, but all-time records should not be threatened.

"These hot and dry conditions will heighten wildfire risks particularly where there are existing fires and/or there is a precipitation deficit, such as in northeastern B.C., northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories."

Calgary's homeless population is a particular concern during a heatwave.

Tim Goodwin, Hope Mission's community relations director, says the agency has deployed vans loaded with water to assist those in need.

"They're sharing extra water (and) they're helping people get where they need to go to get out of the sun," Goodwin said.

"It can get downright dangerous when you don't have a roof over your head."

Meanwhile, businesses catering to outdoor activities are thriving.

Rafting companies have reported record sales as Calgarians flock to the Bow River to escape the heat.

Lazy Day Raft Rental's Andrew Coeb says on Sunday, the company rented 100 per cent of its rafts and when the mercury rises, so do the company's sales.

"We get mentally prepared for a busy day," Coeb said. "I'm happy to work, happy to get people in the water."

While the heatwave is expected to persist, ECCC assures residents it won't be as severe as the deadly 2021 heat dome that claimed hundreds of lives across western Canada.

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