Lytton (with files from CBC/MSN) – Five years ago in 2016, the country watched in horror as Fort McMurray Alberta was ablaze. Forest Fires were ripping through the town.
In 2021, after Canada wide record breaking temperatures, the town of Lytton BC is burning. It’s their turn and residents had literally 15 minutes to pack and run.
On Canada Day, Brad Vis, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon posted to Facebook:
Dear constituents, I will not be participating in Canada Day activities in Mission and Abbotsford as I will be devoting all my time to the emergency situation in the Fraser Canyon. An update: The fire has caused extensive damage to the town of #Lytton, BC and surrounding critical infrastructure. The town has sustained structural damage and 90% of the village is burned, including the centre of town. Neighbouring Telus and BC Hydro stations have suffered extensive damage. In addition, rail and highway infrastructure are affected. There is no access to Highway 1 north of Lytton, and Highway 12 is also compromised. Detours are available via Highway 8 & Highway 5. There are reports of several injuries. The situation is ongoing. I am in communication with the federal Minister of Public Safety and Minister of Indigenous Services who are responding accordingly in conjunction with provincial authorities. If you are from the region and have not reported to TNRD Emergency Operations, please do so immediately: 1-866-377-7188 // 1-250-377-7188 // firstname.lastname@example.org #Lytton
On Tuesday, The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an Evacuation Order for 87 properties for Electoral Area “I” (Blue Sky Country), and an Evacuation Alert has been issued for 24 properties in Electoral Area “I”(Blue Sky Country).
For more information on the Evacuation Order and Alert, visit: https://www.tnrd.ca/services/emergency-services/Information on road closures can be found via DriveBC.
Add insult to injury, a fire broke out near Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon. The fire was sparked late this afternoon. It’s burning about 1 kilometre north of Boston Bar, alongside the railway tracks. People in Lytton were told to go to Boston Bar for safety, but there were fire concerns there.
So the alternative is Lillooet and Merritt, where emergency shelters are being set up. Hotels are being told to make space for evacuees. Chilliwack Secondary has opened its doors as well.
The Chilliwack Métis Association posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening -· Lytton is being evacuated. Many are heading south and Hope is not large enough to accommodate everyone. We may need volunteers on short notice to assist with preparing meals and water for those being evacuated. If you are able to volunteer in a pinch, we may need you!
7PM Wednesday Night PT:
Mayor Jan Polderman says he told everyone to leave Lytton, a community of some 250 people, as the situation rapidly deteriorated. He signed the official evacuation order at 6 p.m. PT.
“It’s dire. The whole town is on fire,” Polderman told CBC News. “It took, like, a whole 15 minutes from the first sign of smoke to, all of a sudden, there being fire everywhere.”
He said he told residents to head for the nearby community of Boston Bar, and was on his way there himself.
“At the First Nation band office, the fire was a wall about three, four feet high coming up to the fence line. I drove through town and it was just smoke, flames, the wires were down,” Polderman said.