July 3, 2021


Canada and the Pacific Northwest have been devastated by blazing temperatures. A heat dome in the region has caused the spike in temperatures. Heat records are being broken every day throughout Canada.

The village of Lytton, British Columbia, has been destroyed because of fires that have ripped through the area. More towns will likely experience this fate as the heat dome does not appear to be moving.

Devastation in Lytton

Lytton experienced the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Canada’s history for multiple days this week. On Wednesday, the dry air caused flames to spark, and they blazed through the entire town. Residents were forced to flee, and many had to leave personal items behind.

Mayor Jan Polderman ordered everyone to leave Lytton as the fires started to grow, but evacuations became mandatory at 6:00 PM PT. The community only consists of 250 people, so it’s a quiet town. However, Lytton looks like a ghost town after the fires consumed every home in the area.

Polderman said, “It’s dire. The whole town is on fire. It took, like, a whole 15 minutes from the first sign of smoke to, all of a sudden, there being fire everywhere. 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.”

Most residents evacuated to the neighboring community of Boston Bar. Other groups chose to go to Merritt in the east or Lillooet in the north. These towns are at risk of fires in the coming days as well because of the unrelenting heat.

As the night developed on Wednesday, residents in 87 homes were forced to evacuate in an area north of Lytton.

 The Blazing Heat and the Wildfire

Lytton, which is 260 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, experienced the highest temperatures ever in the nation. The area broke the record for three straight days and concluded at 121.28 degrees Fahrenheit (49.6 c).

The evacuation was mandated an hour after the fire started. Erica Berg, a fire information officer, was investigating the fire and critical in advising Polderman during the situation. The B.C. Wildfire Service is currently battling the fire in the area with hundreds of crew members.

The winds whipped through the area at 44 mph, which spread the ravaging fire. This has caused the fire to move through the area at 6 to 12 mph.

Rescue and Fire Crews

Multiple people have been deployed to contain the fire and support community members who have been displaced because of the fires. It’s expected that many people in the area will be moved to new locations to stay safe.

Although, the issue is what communities will look like after the fires are under control. Ten helicopters have been deployed to preserve the area. Many residents of Lytton have discussed their experience with the media.

Edith Loring-Kuhanga, a citizen of Lytton, said, “There’s so many people in shock. We’re all in shock.” The key to stopping the fires is for the heat dome to dissipate, but only mother nature can decide.

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