Smog warning issued for Montreal area as heat wave enters last gasp

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The heat wave that has gripped eastern parts of the US and Canada has caused the deaths of scores of people, with tens of millions warned the high temperatures look set to stay for the next couple of days.

Following warnings across several states of the potential for a Fourth of July heat wave, forecasters say relief is on its way as a change in weather pattern will sweep away the humid conditions, bringing temperatures back down to its seasonal average. "So we have temperatures 33, 35, 36 above 40 C inside", Dr. David Kaiser told The Current's guest host Mike Finnerty.

In Montreal, police and firefighters are going door-to-door in areas identified as having people considered at high risk: those with chronic illness, mental-health problems, citizens who live alone and people without air conditioning.

The extreme heat is not subsiding.

Environment Canada has issued a smog warning for the Montreal area as a record-breaking heat wave enters its sixth and perhaps final day.

This segment was produced by The Current's Jessica Linzey.

Cities such as Washington, D.C., Detroit and Philadelphia are expected to see temperatures fall around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, to the low 80s by end of the week. A high of 35°C with a humidex of 44 was expected Thursday.

Twelve of the dead were reported in the eastern province's capital Montreal, said regional public health director Mylene Drouin.

The Montreal authorities have called on local people to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness.

In the Eastern Townships region southeast of Montreal, four deaths are under investigation to determine if they are related to the extreme heat.

Urgences-Santé says it has been inundated by the volume of calls since a heat wave enveloping Eastern and Central Canada settled in for an extended stay over the weekend.

Montreal's emergency medical service says it has received an influx of 300 more calls than usual.

He is asking residents to call a provincial health-consultation line in the event of minor health problems or to check in with friends or family and leave 911 lines free for real emergencies.