A rapidly growing wildfire has forced the entire village of Lytton in the interior of British Columbia to suddenly evacuate with no notice or warning.
The evacuation order was issued by the community’s mayor at 6 pm Wednesday evening.
Photos and videos posted onto social media show the out-of-control wildfire consuming buildings in the community.
— Emergency Info BC (@EmergencyInfoBC) July 1, 2021
The fire situation is extremely dangerous right now. Emergency crews are doing everything they can to support the people of Lytton. Please follow the latest updates from @BCGovFireInfo and @EmergencyInfoBC.https://t.co/DOaqmXDemn
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) July 1, 2021
The provincial government has closed Highway 12 between the junction with Highway 1 in Lytton all the way to Lillooet.
At this time, BC Wildfire Service does not have an estimate on the size of the fire. The cause is also not known. There is no word on any injuries or casualties.
Crews have been dispatched to fight the blaze.
Daily Hive has reached out to BC Wildfire Service for further details.
At 8 pm, a Facebook post by Lightfoot Gas, a gas station business in Lillooet, stated many residents of Lytton have fled to Lillooet, and are taking shelter at a recreation centre. Lillooet is approximately a 50-minute drive north from Lytton in optimal road conditions.
“They have lost everything. If you can donate anything, please help,” reads the post.
This is a new fire that began today, in addition to a 350 hectare fire burning south of Lytton that was first discovered on June 16, based on BC Wildfire Service’s online dashboard.
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Earlier this week amidst the deadly heat wave, Lytton broke Canada’s temperature record for three consecutive days, reaching an all-time record of 49.6°C on Tuesday, according to Environment Canada. It was also the highest temperature ever recorded at a latitude above 50° north.
Lytton also recorded highs of 46.6°C on Sunday, and 47°C on Monday.
While the coast saw milder temperatures on Wednesday, Lytton saw little reprieve, compounded by strong winds, based on meteorological data. The community has a population of about 250 people.
Lytton is located where the Thompson River meets the Fraser River, just over a four hour drive from Vancouver.
The fire risk across BC is severely elevated following days of record-breaking heat creating tinder dry conditions.
This is a developing story. More coverage will follow on July 1.
🔴Urgent evacuations underway as a wildfire burns into the city of #Lytton in British Columbia, Canada.
— Gabriel Hébert-Røuillier (@Gab_H_R) July 1, 2021