After breaking Canada’s heat record for three days in a row, the village of Litton in British Columbia has been almost completely destroyed by fire. Conservative MP Brad Wiss of Mission-Matsky-Fraser Canyon said as of Thursday morning “90 percent” of the village, including the city center, ambulance station and health center, had been burned. Neighboring Telus and BC Hydro stations and rail and highway infrastructure were also damaged. Images from the city center show a community overnight.
“The most important thing at the moment is getting the head count done and making sure that the people who have had to evacuate at a moment’s notice are accounted for,” Mr Wiss said. “It’s an immediate priority.”
The British Columbia government pledged to rebuild the community.
have reports that most homes and structures in the village as well as the ambulance station and the RCMP detachment have been lost,” Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said.
“I also understand that some residents have not been accounted for, and their location is currently being investigated by the RCMP.”
At least 1,000 people had been evacuated from Lytton and the surrounding areas, Farnworth said.
B.C. Premier John Horgan said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.
“When the smoke in Lytton clears, of course, the province will be there to rebuild,” Horgan said.
Catastrophic damage after fire tears through Village of Lytton
“I made that commitment to the mayor today and I make that commitment to those who are in emergency centres around the region.”
Horgan and Farnworth said they had spoken to the federal government about additional support — up to and including the deployment of the military, amid a rapid surge in new wildfires in BC.
Farnworth said he was not ruling out implementing a new provincial state of emergency, just days after declaring the province’s longest-ever state of emergency, due to COVID-19, was ending.
Horgan said there had been at least 62 new fires in the preceding 24 hours, along with 29,000 lightning strikes.