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Heatwave in Canada sparks wildfires across British Columbia

July 01, 2021
A day after a village in British Columbia saw Canada's highest recorded temperature, the residents of Lytton have been ordered to evacuate due to a wildfire. — Courtesy photo
A day after a village in British Columbia saw Canada's highest recorded temperature, the residents of Lytton have been ordered to evacuate due to a wildfire. — Courtesy photo

OTTAWA — A day after a village in British Columbia saw Canada's highest recorded temperature, the residents of Lytton have been ordered to evacuate due to a wildfire.

Mayor Jan Polderman issued the evacuation order late Wednesday, according to a news release from the Village of Lytton. "All residents are advised to leave the community and go to a safe location," it said.

In his evacuation order, the village's mayor, Jan Polderman described "fire in the village of Lytton" that "threatened structures and the safety of residents." Roughly 250 people live in the town about 150 miles northeast of Vancouver.

Polderman told local media outlets that the fire "took about 15 minutes" to engulf the entire town not long after he issued the evacuation order at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Polderman told CTV News he picked up one man before driving away from the burning village.

Lytton, which is located about 195 miles east of Vancouver, has a population of 249 residents.

The wildfires come after nearly four days of extreme heat in the region. The evacuation of Lytton came a day after the U.S. National Weather Service noted this week that temperatures reached 121 degrees in the small town — a Canadian record.

There are currently 67 fires burning in British Columbia and 44 of those have begun in the last two days, according to the B.C. Wildfire Dashboard.

To date, the province has experienced 450 fires this year, it said.

The extreme temperatures have had a devastating impact on the province as more the 230 deaths have been reported in British Columbia since Friday, officials said on Tuesday.

The province's chief coroner called it an "unprecedented time."

"Since the onset of the heatwave late last week, the BC Coroners Service has experienced a significant increase in deaths reported where it is suspected that extreme heat has been contributory," Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement. — Agencies


July 01, 2021
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