A wildfire in Canada has burned 90% of the village in the British Colombia district that recorded Canada’s highest ever temperature, the local MP says.
Brad Vis said the fire had caused extensive damage to Lytton, in British Columbia, and to surrounding critical infrastructure.
People were fleeing in a panic, running for their lives as structures burned just before the evacuation order was issued. Some were clutching onto their most dear treasures like pictures of their family and others barely made it out alive, with just the clothes on their backs.
Jan Polderman, mayor of Lytton, told the local news agency that he had been “lucky to get out with my own life”.
I noticed some white smoke at the south end of town and within 15 to 20 minutes, the whole town was engulfed in flame.– Jan Polderman, mayor of Lytton, B.C.
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 fire spread within minutes
McKay said there was no sign of any trouble shortly before the stench of smoke blanketed the area around her home.
Scott Hildebrand, chief administrative officer of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, said the fire spread within minutes and a reception centre was set up in Kamloops while another one was being planned in Merritt.
He said the evacuation order for the village was issued as soon as possible.
“It didn’t matter because people were already fleeing,” he said, noting that smoke blanketed the area quickly and structures were burning as residents left.
British Columbia heat wave
The village of Lytton this week recorded the country’s highest-ever temperature of 49.6C (121.3F). An area that has seen soaring temperatures in the British Columbia heat wave.
Abnormally high temperatures have been recorded in swathes of North America.
British Columbia, in western Canada, recorded 486 deaths over five days compared with an average of 165 in normal times.
He had earlier ordered people to evacuate, saying flames had spread through the village in just 15 minutes. and went on to say “There won’t be very much left of Lytton,” he said. “There was fire everywhere.”
Families that fled the wildfire near Lytton, B.C., are wondering if they’ll have a home to go back to as hundreds of residents of the village were ordered to leave because structures and public safety were threatened.
Climate Change 2021 is causing wildfire in Canada
Experts are warning that climate change 2021 at NASA in the global landscape is perpetuating the rise of global wildfires. What is at least as worrying is that experts are now saying the fires themselves are part of a feedback loop. The fires are pumping thousands of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere which increases heat absorption and global warming, which in turn changes the climate.
As the north warms more quickly, the temperature difference between southern and northern latitudes which drives the jet stream is lessened. This slows the jet stream meaning weather patterns stagnate, leading to severe flooding in some areas and severe drought in others.
The fires are so bad, air quality concerns are being raised not only in British Columbia but in cities like Calgary literally several hundred kilometres away across the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada.